Nightly News | March 19, 2012
>>> the army staff sergeant accused of murdering 16 afghan civilians, 9 of them children, met face-to-face with his defense team for the first time today as we're learning more about this decorated combat veteran, this married father of two small children.
>> 38-year-old army staff sergeant robert bales spends his days in a medium security detention facility in a remote corner of a 56-acre ft. leavenworth. he's in a special cell by himself, solitary confinement. he's using the recreation facilities, there are narrow windows, and he may have books newspapers, and magazines.
>> he has a lonely existence. not a lot of outside contact. his primary contact is going to be with the prison guards.
>>> while he awaits formal charges , his friends struggle to reconcile the horrible accusations with the man they know.
>> this is not our bobby. they swear there is a major mistake. you have the wrong name.
>>> bales enlisted shortly after 9/11, giving up a job as a strock broker. since 2003 , he has been sent overseas four times. three tykes to iraq where his lawyer said he was injured twiesz. in a blog, his wife detailed the strain at home, writing about bad dreams when he left for one deployment. last year, when her husband was passed over for a promotion, she wrote of her disappointment, after all of the work bob has done and all of the sacrifices she's made for his love of the country, family, and friends. chris alexander was his platoon leader in iraq.
>> he was one of my best guys. i never had any issues with him. you could give him any job and he would get it done.
>> his lawyer suggests bales may have post traumatic stress disorder and said his repeated deployments will be part of the defense.
>> i get stopped all the time by people since i took this case asking me whether i think in the long run it's going to have ramifications on the length of the war. i certainly hope it does.
>> analysts say ptsd defenses are rare in military trials.
>> it would be a hard row to hoe to make headway on that.
>> bales' attorney says he expects charges to be filed saz as soon as this week. charges that could include murder and could incluse the death penalty. bales' wife called the shootings a terrible and heart breaking tragedy. i too, want to know what happened, she says. i want to know how this could be. the victims and their families are all in my prayers as is my husband who i love very much. brian.
>> john yang , thanks for your reporting on that story today.