MILITARY

Lawyer says Afghan shooting suspect had depression after Iraq

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2011 Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System photo, soldiers from Blackhorse Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, including Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, left, take part in exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2011 Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System photo, soldiers from Blackhorse Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, including Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, left, take part in exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.  (AP)

An attorney for the U.S. soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians says his client suffered a traumatic incident in Iraq that triggered tremendous depression and anxiety.

Lawyer John Henry Browne said Wednesday that he cannot discuss the details of the matter because it remains classified. But he expects the issue to become a focal point in the case against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.

Browne previously said Bales experienced other major dangers in his deployments, including a serious foot injury and head trauma. He also said a fellow soldier's leg had been blown off days before the Afghanistan massacre.

Bales has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and other crimes, and he is being held at a U.S. military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.