Accused Afghan shooter's lawyer wants military counsel fired


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.

The civilian attorney representing the U.S. soldier accused of murdering 17 Afghan villagers wants to replace the military lawyer assigned to the case.

"You are fired, sorry, but we have much more experience than you," Seattle-based John Henry Browne, the outspoken lawyer for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, said in an email to military lawyer Major Thomas Hurley, Reuters reported.

More from GlobalPost: US soldier Robert Bales charged with 17 murder counts

Browne's associate Emma Scanlan confirmed the decision, telling Reuters she and her boss looked forward to working with another lawyer.

Hurley declined to comment to Reuters.

Browne's team wants to work with a military attorney with death penalty case experience, the email to Hurley from Browne, part of a chain obtained by Reuters, showed.

More from GlobalPost: Report: Bales returned to base before killing again

The decision comes after friction between the civilian and military lawyers over Browne's aggressive media strategy.

Last week, Browne unleashed a unilateral public attack on the way U.S. prosecutors are handling the investigation into the shooting and accused U.S. authorities of blocking access to potential witnesses, The Associated Press reported.

There was also disagreement over the decision to put Bales' wife on the "Today" show, where she said her husband showed no signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. That potentially damages Bales' most likely defense, Reuters reported.

Bales has been charged with 17 counts of murder in the pre-dawn shooting rampage March 11 and is being held in a military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., according to the AP.