WASHINGTON (CBS) -- A 38-year old Army Staff Sergeant and father of two will likely hear Friday that he's charged with more than a dozen counts of murder. Military prosecutors say, Robert Bales left his base in Southern Afghanistan and went on a deadly shooting rampage leaving 17 Afghan civilians dead.
Officials at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas are expected to tell Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales that he faces 17-counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder all in connection with a shooting rampage in southern Afghanistan.
Military officials claim, the 38-year old left his base in Kandahar March 11, walked to two nearby villages, and opened fire killing afghan civilians, including women and children. He allegedly burned some of the bodies before returning to his base.
The soldier's civilian attorney, John Henry Browne, believes the government has a tough task ahead. He says, "This is going to be a very difficult case for the government to prove, in my opinion. There is no crime scene. There's no CSI stuff, there's no DNA, there's no fingerprints."
The shootings put 'more' strain on the relationship between the U.S. and Afghan governments. Last month U-S forces mistakenly burned Korans sparking deadly protests.
Bales was on his fourth tour of duty in a war zone. He had served three tours in Iraq, where he suffered a foot injury and a head injury that his attorney says was never treated. Browne says, "Of course his mental state will become part of the approach we'll take to explain and hopefully defend him properly."
Bales faces trial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. But it could be months before he appears in a public hearing.
Some leaders had called for him to be tried in Afghanistan but President Hamid Karzai did not. Now, Afghan officials are asking for some role in Bales' trial even just as observers.