Soldier in Afghan killings may have taken drug
SEATTLE — The lawyer for the American soldier who killed 16 Afghan civilians says Staff Sgt. Robert Bales used a controversial malaria drug linked to paranoia, hallucinations and psychosis while on a previous deployment in Iraq.
The Seattle Times reports that it's unclear whether Bales took the same drug in the days leading up to the slayings last year near a remote Army outpost in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this month released a 2012 “adverse event” notification from a pharmacist who reported that an unnamed Army soldier taking mefloquine murdered Afghan civilians. Bales' attorney, John Henry Browne, told the Times that he has documents indicating his client took the drug while in Iraq but said medical records for his client's time in Afghanistan are incomplete.
“We know that he was given Lariam while in Iraq,” Browne said, referring to the drug's brand name. “We just don't have a complete set of medical records for that period (in Afghanistan). “He (Bales) can't help us. He just says he took ‘whatever they gave me.' ”
Bales pleaded guilty to the killings last month. A jury will decide in August whether the soldier is sentenced to life with or without the possibility of parole.
Browne declined to say whether he would raise Bales' use of mefloquine as a possible contributing factor to his crimes.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Parks threatened by dispute over renewal
- Texas, Oklahoma residents urged to flee flooding
- Senate foils phone spies in close vote
- Veterans frustrated by GOP presidential debate on Iraq War
- Why FedEx truck slammed into bus in Calif. in fatal crash still unknown year later
- Michigan woman marks 116th birthday
- Pipeline didn’t have shut-off valve
- Clinton Foundation reports as much as $26.4M in previously undisclosed payments
- Police kill suspect in fatal shootings of Missouri woman, son
- Congress passes short-term fix for highways program
- Harvey Girls recognized for role in history of West