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Defense official: Staff Sgt. Robert Bales to face 16 murder counts in Afghanistan massacre

Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales will be charged with 17 counts of murder for allegedly gunning down Afghan civilians in their homes. Meanwhile, new information has surfaced about Bales' previous run-ins with the law. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports.

Updated at 8:26 a.m. ET: WASHINGTON -- Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be charged with 16 counts of murder and six counts of assault and attempted murder in connection with the March 11 massacre in Afghanistan, a senior U.S. defense official told NBC News on Thursday.

The charges are expected to be released Friday.

On Thursday, defense officials changed their official death count in the incident to 17 from 16. Bales is accused of leaving his base in Panjwei, entering a village and killing the civilians in their homes.

Bales is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Related story: How Staff Sgt. Bales' lawyers are fighting for his life

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