Robert Bales, soldier in Afghan killings to get psych exam
The prosecution team interviewed the civilians, but the defense team said they were unable to after the people were released and no contact information was provided for them.
Browne's team also said they have been denied access to the civilians' medical records, as well as video allegedly taken from a surveillance blimp showing Bales on the night of the killings.
Dan Conway, a military attorney who represented one of four Lewis-McChord soldiers convicted in the deliberate killings of three Afghan civilians in 2010, said the government doesn't appear to be doing anything wrong at this point in the Bales case.
He said prosecutors have little obligation to turn over evidence right now and doesn't need to help coordinate interviews this early in the process.
"This is just going to be an uphill battle," Conway said.
The defense will have a right to interview witnesses that could be called at trial, so the Army could then take the defense team into the villages with security or coordinate to have them come onto the military base.
But Conway said the challenges of interviewing witnesses now means the defense team may not be able to track down people to bolster their case - such as witnesses unable to identify Bales or those who believe there were two shooters.
"If they want to talk to those witnesses, they're going to have to get an investigator and probably go to the village and talk to civilians themselves," Conway said.
U.S. military officials have said Bales was drinking on a southern Afghanistan base on March 11 before creeping away to two villages at night, shooting his victims and setting many of them on fire. Nine were children.
Bales has had incidents involving alcohol and violence in the past. In 2002, He was arrested for a drunken assault of a security guard at a Tacoma casino. That charge was dismissed after Bales completed 20 hours of anger management training.
In 2008, a couple accused an intoxicated Bales of grabbing a woman's hand and thrusting it toward his crotch before kicking and punching the woman's boyfriend, according to a police report. Prosecutors declined to pursue that case.
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