Sgt. Robert Bales 'Does Not Remember Everything' From Night of Afghan Massacre

Karilyn Bales extended her condolences to the families of those killed.

ByABC News
March 19, 2012, 10:00 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan March, 19, 2012 -- Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' lawyer John Henry Browne told ABC News that his client "does not remember eveything from" the day where he allegedly slaughtered 16 Afghan civilians.

In an interview with CBS News Browne said Bales has not confessed to the shootings and has large gaps in his memory from the night of March 11 when they occurred.

"He has an early memory of that evening. ... And he has a later memory of that evening but he does not have memory ... in between," Browne said.

In a statement today, Bales' wife, Karilyn, offered condolences from her family to the victims, many of them children, of the March 11 shooting.

"Our hearts go out too all of them, especially to the parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents of the children who perished," she said.

Karilyn Bales issued her statement as her husband met with his lawyer for the first time at the Fort Leavenworth military prison, and the U.S. military said that his trial will take place in the U.S., not Afghanistan.

Click here to read the full statement from Karilyn Bales.

But Mrs. Bales said she is mystified about what happened and how her husband, the father of their two children, could be accused of such an atrocity.

"Our family has little information beyond what we read and see in the media. What has been reported is completely out of character of the man I know and admire. Please respect me when I say I cannot shed any light on what happened that night... I too want to know what happened. I want to know how this could be," she said.

Karilyn Bales alluded to efforts to protect her family and says, "The pain inevitably inflicted in war should never be an excuse to inflict yet more pain. The cycle must be broken. We must find peace."

She ended her statement saying, "The victims and their families are all in my prayers, as is my husband who I love very much."

The U.S. told Afghan reporters that Bales' trial will not be held in Afghanistan, although the Afghan government has said he should be tried in Afghanistan.

U.S. military officials had previously said the location of the trial had not been determined and did not rule out having the trial in Afghanistan.

But in a briefing with Afghan journalists Sunday, a U.S. official said that Bales, 38, "will be tried in the United States. We have not determined, we are doing some coordination to find out what the final venue will be, but the proceedings will take place somewhere in the United States."

The transcript of the briefing was released today and the official spoke on the condition that he be identified only as a U.S. forces Afghanistan legal expert.

The source was asked how he could be tried in the U.S. when crucial witnesses are in the Afghan villages where the victims died during the March 11 massacre.

"The presence of the families and the victims is certainly going to be a consideration," the source said. " So that is part of the normal process in the United States and under our system."

Returning to the issue of witnesses later in the discussion, he said, "If he is brought to trial it is possible that Afghan witnesses and victims would be brought over."

He also said that no representative of the Afghan government will be part of the prosecution team. The Afghan government is conducting its own investigation of the killings and so far has indicated it believes more than one U.S. soldier was involved.

Bales has yet to be charged, although charges could be filed as early as today.