Attorneys for the U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians during a 2012 rampage have asked that a new psychiatric expert be appointed in the case. The defense team explained its reasons in a confidential court filing. (April 23)
SHOTLIST:AP Television - AP Clients Only Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington -- April 23, 20131. SOUNDBITE: Emma Scanlan/Defense Attorney"some of the reasons that we want Dr. (unintelligible) are privileged and they remain privileged outside as well inside the courtroom. We believe that he would be an asset to the defense team if that's what the court decides."**1 Second of Black**2. SOUNDBITE: Emma Scanlan/Defense Attorney"we're very happy with the court's ruling. It looks like a lot of our witnesses that we wanted to testify in the potential penalty phase will be here, including Sgt. Bales mother. She is a very important witness as to who he was as a child, and who he was as a man. We're happy with that.**1 Second of Black**3. SOUNDBITE: Emma Scanlan/Defense AttorneySgt. Bales has been...he was a good kid. He was a good man and a good soldier. There are a lot of people who want to talk about that, and want to tell our potential jury....or panel....who they know Sgt. Bales to be. The court decided who gets to talk and who doesn't, but we still think we have a strong representation of the people who know our client.**1 Second of Black**'4. SOUNDBITE: Emma Scanlan/Defense AttorneyThe decision of who we're going to call during the fact-finding or penalty phase....those decisions haven't been made yet.**1 Second of Black**5. I think what we all recognize to begin with is that the judge has already ruled that the government is not getting the results of the compelled mental health examination at the time that the examination is completed. That is something as far as we know has never been done in a military court before. So he is respecting the rights of our client in changing that procedure and going that way. The disagreement that remains is we don't believe that our clients mental health evaluation should be shared with the prosecution before a penalty phase if the witnesses we're using are only going to be used at sentencing. We don't think they get to know that during the trial. The judge disagrees, and that's the way it is."STORYLINE:Attorneys for the U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians during a 2012 rampage have asked that a new psychiatric expert be appointed in the case. Emma Scanlan, an attorney for Robert Bales, made the request during a hearing Tuesday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle. Citing attorney-client privilege, Scanlan did not say why the request was made. The defense team provided its reasons to the judge _ but not prosecutors _ in a confidential court filing. Prosecutors objected to the motion, saying it smacked of witness shopping. Outside experts believe a key issue going forward will be to determine if Bales suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Bales served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. A ruling on the defense team's request will be made later. At Tuesday's hearing, attorneys also discussed which witnesses might be allowed to testify on Bales' behalf, should the case reach a sentencing phase.Bales is to be court-martialed on premeditated murder and other charges in the attack on two villages in southern Afghanistan. The Ohio native and father of two is accused of slaying mostly women and children during pre-dawn raids on March 11, 2012. Bales, 39, has not entered a plea. The Army is seeking the death penalty. An Army criminal investigations command special agent testified earlier that Bales tested positive for steroids three days after the killings, and other soldiers testified that Bales had been drinking the evening of the massacre.