Conflict & Justice

Robert Bales' wife offers condolences to victims' families in Afghan massacre (VIDEO)


A man identified as Robert Bales appears in this Defense Department photograph published in High Desert Warrior, a publication at the National Training Center and Fort Irwin in California.

Karilyn Bales, the wife of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians on March 10, offered condolences to the victims' families, according to the Associated Press.

Karilyn Bales issued a statement on Monday stating that she too wanted to know what happened when Bales allegedly went on a rampage in an Afghan village shooting civilians, including nine children. His wife said her family and in-laws were profoundly sad and the news they had read concerning Bales was "completely out of character of the man I know and admire," reported the AP.

In her statement, she said, "Our hearts go out too all of them, especially to the parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents of the children who perished," according to ABC News.

More on GlobalPost: Robert Bales, accused in Afghan murders, had troubles at home, reports say

Bales was flown back to the US on Friday, and his lawyer, John Henry Browne, said Bales could be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the BBC. He is being held at Fort Leavenworth, where he will likely be formally charged within the next few days.

Browne spoke to CBS News and said Bales had not confessed to the shootings and had large gaps in his memory from the night of the shootings.

According to Browne, "(Bales is) fixated on the troops left on the ground and what they're accusing him of and how that might have negative ramifications on his friends and compatriots. And he's concerned that there would be retaliation that would be caused by what people think he's done."

According to a US military official, Bales will be tried in the US. Identified only as a US forces Afghanistan legal expert, the official said, "If he is brought to trial it is possible that Afghan witnesses and victims would be brought over," reported ABC News. The official also warned that the case would take a "significant amount of time" because of its complexity and the amount of evidence.

The New York Times reported that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the death penalty could be "a consideration" in this case, which will likely draw out the trial for several years. From 2001 to 2011, the Army has prosecuted 44 soldiers for murder or manslaughter of civilians in Afghanistan or Iraq, of which 30 were convicted of some degree of homicide, six were convicted of other offenses and eight were acquitted.

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Friends and colleagues also shared their thoughts on Bales in this report from NBC News.

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