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Afghanistan massacre suspect's wife speaks out

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 38, is seen in this undated photo. Military officials suspect Bales shot 16 Afghan civilians and set some of them on fire. Nine of the victims killed were children.
March 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The wife of a U.S. soldier is speaking out for the first time since her husband was accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians.

Karilyn Bales told a morning TV talk show she doesn't feel like she'll ever believe her husband, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, was involved in the killings.

She also said he showed no signs of post-traumatic stress disorder before he was deployed to Afghanistan. She defended her husband in a weekend interview with NBC's Matt Lauer that aired on Monday.

Bales was formally charged Friday with 17 counts of premeditated murder and other crimes and is being held at a U.S. military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Officials say Bales left his base March 11 in southern Afghanistan and killed eight Afghan adults and nine children.

Investigators say they believe Bales killed in two episodes, returning to his base after the first attack and later slipping away to kill again. He is reported to have surrendered without a struggle.

Bales, a 38-year-old father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash., was on his fourth tour of duty, having served three tours in Iraq, where he suffered head and foot injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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