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Published: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 2:05 p.m.

Alleged Afghanistan shooter chooses Colton Harris-Moore lawyer

SEATTLE -- A Seattle attorney who represented a teenage thief known as the Barefoot Bandit said Thursday he has been asked to represent the U.S. soldier accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians last weekend.
John Henry Browne told The Associated Press the 38-year-old staff sergeant is from the Seattle area and asked to be represented by him when he was taken into custody. Brown, a prominent Seattle defense lawyer, said he has met with the sergeant's family, and unless the soldier is returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the next few days, he will travel to meet the soldier wherever he is in custody.
Browne declined to release the soldier's name, which the Army has withheld.
"Everybody is worried about the safety of his family, and I am honoring that," Browne said.
Browne recently represented Colton Harris-Moore, who gained international attention for stealing airplanes, boats and cars during a two-year run from the law -- but Browne said he has only handled three or four military cases before. Browne said the soldier will also have at least one military lawyer.
The soldier is suspected of going on a shooting rampage in villages near his base in southern Afghanistan early last Sunday, killing nine children and seven other civilians and then burning some of their bodies. The shooting, which followed a controversial Quran-burning incident involving U.S. soldiers, has outraged Afghan officials.
Browne said he has a limited amount of information about his prospective client. He 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.
"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."
The soldier deployed in December.

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