More details are emerging of the US soldier accused of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan – including a concussive head injury sustained in Iraq during a roadside bomb attack.
The 38-year-old father of two, described as a ‘decorated survivor of war wounds’, was on his fourth deployment to the Middle East, and stress may have played a major role in the incident, according to his lawyer John Henry Browne.
“He’s never said anything antagonistic about Muslims. He’s never said anything antagonistic about Middle Eastern individuals. He’s, in general, been very mild mannered,” Browne told reporters.
The army staff sergeant’s name has not been released by his lawyer or the military.
He had apparently also witnessed his friend’s leg being blown off the day before the shooting.
Browne explained that the soldier had not expected being sent to Afghanistan: “He was told that he was not going to be redeployed. The family was counting on him not being redeployed. And so, he and the family were told that his tours of the Middle East were over. And then literally overnight, that changed. So I think it would be fair to say that he and the family were not happy that he was going back.”
Browne also disputed allegations that alcohol and marital problems had played a part in the incident.
After eleven years of service, the soldier is now in Kuwait at a pre-trial confinement facility.