Army adds charges against Afghan shooting suspect

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SEATTLE (AP) — The Army dropped a murder charge, but added others, including steroid use, against a soldier accused in a deadly shooting rampage in Afghanistan, his lawyer said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is now accused of gunning down 16 civilians — instead of 17 — in a pre-dawn raid on two Afghan villages in March.

Bales attorney Emma Scanlan said she received the new charges Friday and that there was nothing surprising in them. There had been talk for some time that the number of victims in the massacre had been over-counted.

“We’re looking forward to putting on a defense and seeing what they can prove,” Scanlan said. Scanlan also said the Army dropped off 5,000 pages of discovery materials at her office on Friday.

Bales now faces 16 counts of premeditated murder; six of attempted murder; seven of assault; one of possessing steroids; one of using steroids; one of destroying a laptop computer; one of burning bodies; and one of using alcohol.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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