Lawyer says Afghanistan suspect 'mild-mannered'

GENE JOHNSON Associated Press Published:

SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seattle lawyer representing the U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians last weekend described the soldier as mild-mannered and said he has never said anything antagonistic about Muslims.

John Henry Browne spoke Thursday evening at a news conference in Seattle.

He says he met with the wife and other family members of the 38-year-old staff sergeant. Browne says "they were totally shocked" by the allegations.

The soldier is suspected of going on a shooting rampage in villages near his base in southern Afghanistan early Sunday, killing nine children and seven other civilians and then burning some of their bodies.

Browne says the soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Tacoma, had no prior events in his Army dossier indicating misbehavior.