LEGAL

Bales to Be Charged With 17 Murders

Spc. Ryan Hallock, DVIDS / AP Photo

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in 2011.

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be charged with 17 counts of murder, a Defense Department official told NBC News on Thursday. The official charges are expected to be released Friday. Bales is accused of shooting and killing 17 Afghan civilians, including nine children, on March 11. Meanwhile, some have alleged that Bales was drinking when the massacre occurred. The Associated Press reported Thursday that the Army staff sergeant had been cited in a previous incident involving alcohol, and a previous background check revealed Bales had been arrested in a drunken assault case in 2002.