Afghanistan slayings: Sgt. Bales had used steroids, Army alleges

Kim Murphy
Sunday, 03-June-2012

 

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash: Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused in the late-night massacre of 16 men, women and children in southern Afghanistan, was using alcohol and steroids near the time of the murders, drugs that have been linked to symptoms of unusual aggression, Army prosecutors alleged Friday.
A new charge sheet returned against the 38-year-old serviceman also charges him with burning bodies of the victims and damaging a laptop computer in a purported attempt to impede the investigation into the March 11 attacks near a remote special operations post near the town of Belambay.
Except for the new evidence of substance use, the main difference in the new charge sheet is that it reduces the number of alleged murders from 17 to 16, clearing up a continued point of confusion since the killings first were reported. Army officials said a detailed investigation since the original charges were brought revealed that one of the victims was originally named twice.
The charges also include six counts of attempted murder, with victims that included four children, and six counts of assault that also involved shooting, with four children among those victims. A seventh assault charge alleges that Bales in February, the month before the killings, beat an Afghan man with his hands and knees, striking him in the face and the body.
The new charge sheet is the first indication of possible drug use in connection with the attacks, though it does not allege that either steroids or alcohol prompted the killings and makes no mention of possible side effects of either substance.
Steroids have long been linked to cases of strong aggression, often popularly described as “roid rage,” though the product Bales was alleged to have used, stanozolol, is considered a milder form with fewer such side effects.
“Steroids can cause aggression and anger. It’s not uncommon for people on steroids to be just angry,” said former military psychologist Bart Billings, who has testified before Congress on the possible dangerous side effects of the Army’s widespread use of psychiatric drugs.
The charge sheet says Bales’ use and possession of the drug while on combat duty was a violation of military law. It alleges that Bales “on divers’ occasions” used alcohol while posted at Belambay between Nov. 1 and March 10 — the day before the predawn shootings — in violation of military orders prohibiting alcohol use in Afghanistan.
Bales’ defense lawyers had initially denied Bales had used alcohol at the outpost, but attorney Emma Scanlan said Friday that military prosecutors claim to have evidence that the sergeant was drinking before the shootings.
“He was not an alcoholic,” Scanlan said. “The allegation that he may have used a limited amount of alcohol does not mean that alcohol fueled some kind of homicidal rage.”
Scanlan said defense lawyers continue to be convinced that Bales, who was on his fourth combat deployment, was not suffering from stress in connection with his family. His wife had put the family house up for sale as a result of purported financial problems shortly before the attacks.
"We stand by the original statement that he doesn't have any domestic issues outside of what happens in an ordinary marriage where one person is deployed multiple times," she said.

 


 



    

Top Stories

Punjab govt. seeks four-month time for LB polls

ISLAMABAD: Punjab government has sought four-month time from Supreme Court (SC) for holding local bodies election in the...

Car bombings kill at least 33 people in Iraq

BAGHDAD: A new wave of car bombs ripped through commercial areas in the Iraqi capital and areas to the south Tuesday, ki...

Altaf, Zardari discuss law & order in Sindh

KARACHI: Muttahidat Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain and former president and co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Pa...

White House weighs petition to deport Justin Bieber

WASHINGTON: As if Barack Obama didn't have enough problems to deal with already, his administration now is being asked t...

Sindh CNG stations reopen after 24 hours

KARACHI: CNG stations across Sindh including Karachi reopened after 24-hour closure at 8:00 AM today (Tuesday), media re...

Gas leakage blast kills 1, hurts 3 in Quetta

QUETTA: An explosion occurred at a house due to gas leakage, killing at least one person and wounding three others here ...

Ministry of CAD decisions put students,teachers & parents in a fix

Islamabad:Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) indecisive attitude put the students as well as paren...

10-year-old maid allegedly tortured to death in Lahore

LAHORE: A 10-year-old girl, who works as maid, was allegedly tortured to death in Lahore, medi reported.Sources said tha...

Five friends voluntarily embrace death: police

THATTA: Police after initial investigation claimed that five friends, who were allegedly killed in Noori Jam Tamachi, vo...

Pakistan wants good relations with all neighbouring countries: PM Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan wanted good relations with all the neighbouring countries....

IHC dismisses Musharaf’s pleas; verdict issued

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued 11-page detailed verdict over the intra-court appeal filed by f...

Pakistan to get $550m after IMF review meeting on Dec. 19

WASHINGTON: International Monetary Fund (IMF) first quarter review meeting on Pakistan’s loan programme will be held on...

Kayani thanks Corps Commanders for extending support

RAWALPINDI: The 166th Corps Commanders Conference was held at General Headquarters on Thursday.   Outgoing Chief of Ar...

3 women held captive for 30 years: UK police

LONDON: Three women have been freed after spending 30 years held captive in a south London home, including one woman be...

Iran has slowed work on atomic facilities: IAEA

NEW YORK: Iran appears to have dramatically slowed work on its atomic energy program since the summer, U.N. officials s...

Young Frenchman too heavy to fly will go home by ship

NEW YORK CITY: A young Frenchman who weighs 230 kilograms (500 pounds) and was deemed too heavy to fly on a jetliner ar...

Ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf released

ISLAMABAD: Adiala Jail authorities have formally released the country’s former military strongman General (retd) Pervez...

Bolivia coca ambush leaves 4 security force members dead

LA PAZ: A weekend ambush and hostage-taking involving police and Bolivian coca growers has left four people dead, offic...

Muslim pilgrims ritually stone devil as hajj nears end

MINA: Throngs of Muslim pilgrims took part in devil-stoning ritual for a second day Wednesday in Saudi Arabia's Mina Va...

KP Home Department orders police to collect data of internet cafes

PESHAWAR: The Home Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has ordered police to collect the record of all the intern...


Feature / Analysis

  • Asian Pollution Boosts Pacific Storm Power

    Pollution from China's coal-burning power plants is pumping up winter ...

    Read More »

  • Why are more Americans being diagnosed with allergies?

    Every year it seems people grumble “this is the worst allergy season e...

    Read More »

  • Indonesian volcanic eruptions may cause southern China drought, expert says

    Climate scientist says recent volcanic activity caused recent dry spel...

    Read More »

  • China working on uranium-free nuclear plants in attempt to combat smog

    Beijing brings forward deadline for world's first thorium-fuelled faci...

    Read More »


Opinion

  • Turtles Change Migration Routes Due to Climate Change

    CAHUITA NATIONAL PARK, Costa Rica : The critically endangered hawksbil...

    Read More »

  • Lost in an acid sea: A fish's sense of smell

    As we pump more carbon into the atmosphere, fish may lose their abilit...

    Read More »

  • How wildflower study shows complex effects from global warming

    A research team found that over four decades, global warming has added...

    Read More »

  • India's rice warrior battles to build living seed bank as climate chaos looms

    Rice conservationist Debal Deb grapples with 'mindless Indian elite' t...

    Read More »