Military prosecutors claim that the Washington State soldier, who is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in March, used both alcohol and steroids around the time of the attack. According to KoinLocal6.com, the prosecutors have not yet said if they believe the alcohol and drug-use played any role in the attack.
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is still being held in a military prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, where he waits for his trial. He was formally charged on March 17th, with 17 counts of premeditated murder and other crimes. This week, prosecutors lowered the number of murder charges from 16 to 17, when they discovered one victim was named twice.
Although the Army dropped one murder charge, it added other charges, including steroid use. Bales now faces 16 counts of premeditated murder, 6 counts of attempted murder, 7 counts of assault, one count of possessing steroids, one count of using steroids, one count of destroying a laptop computer, one count of burning bodies, and one count of using alcohol. CNN reported that an inadvertent burning of the Quran set off anti-American protests, and the Afghan civilian deaths only escalated the scenario.
Bales was on his fourth tour of duty in a war zone, as he had served three previous tours in Iraq, where he suffered both a head injury and a foot injury. His attorney claimed his client and his family had previously believed he was finished fighting. The soldier's wife told the "Today" show, "It was a big shock because we weren't on the schedule to be deployed again, to be honest with you. He didn't want to miss out on any more of his kids life." Investigators believe that Bales killed in two separate episodes, returning to the base after the first attack before slipping away to kill again.
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- Item Tag: alcohol, alcohol use in the military, Robert Bales, shooting of Afghan civilians, steroid use