Bales to Be Charged With 17 Murders

    In this Aug. 23, 2011 Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System photo, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, left, 1st platoon sergeant, Blackhorse Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division participates in an exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. A  senior U.S. official, Friday March 16, 2012 identified Bales as the man accused of killing 16 civilians in an attack on Afghan villagers five days ago. The man at the right is unidentified. (AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock)

    Spc. Ryan Hallock, DVIDS / AP Photo

    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.

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