Lawyer: Bales wasn't drunk and can't remember

(CBS News) LEAVENWORTH, Kansas -- The defense of accused murderer Sgt. Robert Bales began Monday when he spent more than seven hours with three of his lawyers, including defense attorney John Henry Browne.

At their meeting, Bales did not confess to the crime.

"He has no memory of ... he has an early memory of that evening and he has a later memory of that, but he doesn't have memory of the evening in between.," Browne said.

Witnesses describe Bales as going deliberately from room to room in several houses while killing people, not in some kind of berserk attack. Browne said that despite the descriptions of his apparently deliberate actions, Bales remembers none of what happened.

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Browne also said reports of his being drunk that night were not really true.

"He said he had a couple sips of something but he didn't have a full drink," and therefore he wasn't drunk, Browne said.

Bales told Browne he was in shock.

"He's fixated on the troops left on the ground and what they're accusing him of and how that might have negative ramifications on his friends and compatriots. And he's concerned that there would be retaliation that would be caused by what people think he's done," Browne said.

Bales apparently is eager to get his wife and children on the phone.

"He loves them dearly and he is very interested in talking to them," Browne said.

Browne said he will not seek an insanity defense, rather one of "diminished capacity," like some sort of an emotional breakdown.

Bales is expected to be charged with 16 counts of murder by the end of the week.

  • Peter Van Sant

    Correspondent, "48 Hours"

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