March 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM
'Barefoot Bandit' attorney John Henry Browne will help defend accused JBLM soldier
Updated at 5:50 p.m.
Seattle defense attorney John Henry Browne’s office confirmed Thursday that it will be “participating in the defense” of the soldier accused of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan.
Browne’s law partner, Emma Scanlan, said they have spoken with the soldier and his family. Browne is making arrangements to meet the soldier, a staff sergeant based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in the near future, Scanlan said.
She said it is likely the soldier – whom she would not identify – will be tried in military court and that she and Browne would work alongside his military lawyers.
The soldier was flown to Kuwait from Afghanistan on Wednesday, U.S. officials said.
Browne said the soldier had twice been injured during tours in Iraq and was reluctant to leave on his fourth deployment, according to The Associated Press.
“He wasn’t thrilled about going on another deployment,” Browne said. “He was told he wasn’t going back, and then he was told he was going.”
He said the soldier, a 38-year-old staff sergeant, lives in the Seattle area and asked to be represented by Browne when he was taken into custody, the AP reported.
Browne also declined to release the soldier’s name, but said he has two young children, ages 3 and 4.
Browne described the soldier as highly decorated and said he had twice been injured during deployments to Iraq, once suffering a concussive head injury and once a serious leg injury. Browne said the soldier is originally from the Midwest, but would not be more specific.
Browne most recently defended “Barefoot Bandit” Colton Harris Moore. Browne said the sergeant is a married father who was trained as a sniper.
Browne told the Tacoma paper that was preparing for a case he called “more political than legal.”
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