US soldier accused of Afghan massacre undergoes sanity review
By Meena Haseeb - Thu Mar 14 2013, 1:42 pm
A military official on Wednesday said, a U.S. soldier charged with slaying 16 civilians in Afghanistan will undergo a sanity review set to begin next week to determine his mental state during the killings and his ability to stand trial.
Robert Bales’ mental health has been expected to be a key part of his defense.
The military judge overseeing the case agreed that the results would not automatically be shared with prosecutors, the lawyers for Bales, said on Wednesday.
John Henry Browne said, the review of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales by Army doctors will start Sunday and could last three to seven days. He has not entered a plea. The Army is seeking the death penalty.
Bales, a father of 2, is accused of being drunk when he crept away from a remote U.S. combat post on foot in the predawn hours of March 11 and gunning down Afghans in their homes.
During his fourth combat deployment, he slipped away from his base in southern Afghanistan to attack two nearby villages and returned soaked in blood, prosecutors say.