Charges against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales "could come sometime this week," The Wall Street Journal reports. That's a development further confirmed by the AP, citing an anonymous military legal expert who said that officials were also discussing the best way to "compensate the relatives" of the shooting victims. The expert said that if the charges are filed, the trial would be held in the United States, with the possibility of Afghan witnesses being flown in to offer testimony. Bales' lawyer, John Henry Browne, flew to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas today for a planned meeting tomorrow with his client.
Meanwhile, further details about the suspect have emerged, the most compelling coming from a deeply personal blog authored by Karilyn Bales, Robert Bales' wife. Much of the blog has been deleted, The New York Times reports, but in the fragments that remain, Ms. Bales expresses the family's frustration over her husband being passed over for a promotion to Sergeant First Class, “after all of the work Bob has done and all the sacrifices he has made for his love of his country, family and friends.”
She also fantasized about locations for her husband's fourth deployment, which would wind up being to the war-ravaged landscape of Afghanistan.
Germany (“best adventure opportunity!”); Italy (“2nd best adventure opp”); Hawaii (“nuff said”); Kentucky (“we would at least be near Bob’s family”); and Georgia (“to be a sniper teacher, not because it is a fun place to live”).
Other new details, from a Reuters report: Bales was a high school football star from the Cincinnati suburb of Norwood, who worked as a stock trader before enlisting in 2001 after the September 11 attacks. He married Karilyn, who he met on an online dating site, in 2005, and was deployed in Iraq for the birth of both of their children. The couple has been dealing lately with financial troubles: Their current home, in Lake Tapps, is on the market for $51,000 less than what they paid for it in 2005. A second home, 10 miles north, has been empty for two years and has a red sticker on it marked, "Do not occupy."
President Obama has "instructed the military to prosecute the case aggressively," WSJ reports. "And Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the suspect could face the death penalty."
Pictured: News crews gather as cars pass by the home of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in Lake Tapps, Washington. [AP]