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Wife Speaks in Support of Army Sergeant Charged with 17 Murders
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Robert Bales, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army, was recently accused of murdering 17 Afghan civilians. His wife, Karilyn Bales, spoke in an interview on NBC’s TODAY show and said that she did not believe that her husband could not have been responsible for the killings.

Bales, 38, was a decorated veteran of four combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was charged last week with 17 separate counts of murder for the deaths of eight adults and nine children. He was further charged with six counts of assault and attempted murder against two adults and four children. The shootings that Bales allegedly committed took place on March 11th in Kandahar province in Afghanistan.


In her interview, Bales’ wife said that she had a chance to speak to her husband on two occasions. Though she admitted to not addressing whether or not he was actually involved in the shootings, she told the TODAY show, “I just don’t think he was involved. This is not him. It’s not him.”

Bales is currently being held at Leavenworth military prison in Kansas. His wife said that her he “seemed a bit confused as to where he was and why he was there.”

Karilyn Bales described her husband as a great father and said that he simply would not have harmed any children.

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“He loves children,” she said. “He’s like a big kid himself.” She stressed that, though she was personally unaware of the specifics of what had happened, she was assured that her husband “loved children” and “would not do that.” She added that the circumstances were “heartbreaking.”

Karilyn Bales said that her husband’s latest assignment was apparently at a higher level of intensity than most, but she had not doubts as to his mental and physical capabilities prior to his deployment. She likewise verified that Bales gave no clear indications of PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) and was not experiencing any nightmares or erratic behavior, either related or unrelated to the incident. The family, according to Bales’ wife, was not ready for the news that Bales would be traveling overseas for a fourth tour.

“It was a big shock because we weren’t on the schedule to be deployed again,” she said. “He didn’t want to miss out on any more of his kids’ lives.”

She furthered stated, “I’m waiting to hear what actually is true. I don’t think anything will really change my mind in believing that he did not do this, that this is not what it appears to be.”

Experts believe that the shootings have caused undue tension between the U.S. and Afghanistan. Bales’ wife said that funding for a legal defense has been initiated on her husband’s behalf. If convicted, the Staff Sergeant may be facing a mandatory minimum life sentence in prison with eligibility for parole or a possible death sentence.


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