Last week, Mrs. Bales released a statement about the massacre, saying, "Please respect me when I say I cannot shed any light on what happened that night, so please do not ask." But now she's saying something very different. On the Today Show, Matt Lauer asked Mrs. Bales to speak to the allegation that her husband killed 9 children in Afghanistan (he's accused of 17 murders in all). She said, "he wouldn't do that" and "he's like a big kid himself."
She also said she didn't believe news reports about his guilt, and that even surveillance video of the crime wouldn't convince her. She said, "I don't think anything will really change my mind in believing that he did not do this."
In a stark contrast, here's what the government says happened the night of March 11:
The 38-year-old is accused of leaving his base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in the middle of the night Sunday and walking to nearby villages where he broke into homes and opened fire on the families inside. Afterwards, he allegedly set some of the bodies on fire. Four women and nine children were killed, according to the criminal charges filed against Bales yesterday.
Just moments after the alleged attack, Bales called his wife from Afghanistan and told her "something terrible" had happened, the wife's lawyer told ABC News today. Bales had apparently surrendered to coalition forces and was able to speak with his wife for about three minutes before the phone call was cut off.
An official now says that Bales actually returned to his base before leaving to kill more people. The prosecution alleges that the crimes were premeditated. The names of the 16 identified victims (one remains unnamed) are: Mohammad Dawood Abdullah, Khudaidad Mohmmad Jama, Nazar Mohammad Taj Mohammad, Payendo, Robina, Sahtarina Sultan Mohammad, Zuhra Abdul Hameed, Nazia Doost Mohammad, Mosooma Mohammad Wazir, Farida Mohammad Wazir, Palwasha Mohammad Wazir, Nabia Mohammad Wazir, Asmatullah Mohammad Wazir, Faizullah Mohammad Wazir, Esa Mohammad Mohammad Husain, and Akhtar Mohammad Murad Ali.