Bales completed 20 hours of anger-management counseling following a 2002 arrest at a Tacoma hotel for investigation of assault. Browne said the case involved a woman who was not his wife. It was not immediately clear how long Browne has been married to his wife.
Tacoma Municipal court administrator Yvonne Pettus provided a copy of the court docket, but said clerks could not immediately locate the case file, which is either in archives or destroyed. The docket shows that Bales pleaded not guilty, underwent the 20 hours of anger management treatment, and the case was dismissed.
The staff sergeant arrived in Afghanistan in December. On Feb. 1 he was assigned to a base in the Panjwai District, near Kandahar, to work with a village stability force that pairs special operations troops with villagers to help provide neighborhood security.
Investigators have established that on the night of the murders, the suspect had been drinking with two other soldiers, which is forbidden in combat zones, reports CBS News correspondent David Martin. It is unclear how much he might have consumed, but the suspect's subsequent actions seem methodical and deliberate.
According to the account provided by investigators, the suspect armed himself and put on night vision goggles. He walked off the base -- in full view of Afghan guards -- hiked a mile to the first village, where he killed 11, then back to a second village where he killed five more. Returning to the base, he crawled through an orchard as if he were trying to evade detection, but was spotted by a search party.
Only then did he surrender, invoking his right to remain silent and demanding a lawyer, according to investigators' account.
U.S. and Kuwaiti military officials confirmed earlier Friday that the man was being flown to the U.S. and Browne, the suspect's attorney, told the Associated Press that he or his legal partner Emma Scanlan would meet the suspect at Leavenworth next week.
"He and the family were told his tours of the Middle East were over and then literally overnight, that changed. So I think it's fair to say that he and the family were not happy that he was going back."
At Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where the suspect is based, near Tacoma, Wash., Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, said Friday he was "confident" in the level of screening performed on servicemembers before repeat deployments. He wouldn't discuss the killings in detail because of they were still under investigation.
"The organizations and leaders here are surprised and shocked as much by it as we are," Rodriguez told a news conference. "It is a tragedy. We are disappointed that it happened and shocked like everybody else."
Browne shot down media reports of alcohol and marital problems and focused on the stresses his client had experienced in combat, includingthe day before the alleged rampage.
"At this small base that he was at, somebody was gravely injured the day before this incident which affected all the soldiers there," Browne said.
Browne released other new details about the suspect. He is from the Midwest, has two children, ages 3 and 4, and is a highly decorated soldier with a flawless military record.
He said the suspect's family is stunned.
"He's never said anything antagonistic and Muslims. He's never said anything antagonistic and Middle Eastern individuals. He's in general very mild mannered. They were shocked," Browne said.