U.S. military officials tell NBC News the Army is preparing to conduct a psychological examination on Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, charged with killing 17 Afghan civilians.
The officials say the exam, officially called a "706 Board," is considered routine in serious cases such as Bales's, who is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder that could be punishable with the death penalty. The board would include a team of psychiatrists, officials said.
According to one military official, given the "serious nature of the charges," the Army wants its "best team" on the examination board.
Army and Pentagon officials deny rumors coming out of Seattle that Bales will be brought to Walter Reed Army Medical Center outside Washington, D.C. for the examination.
According to the officials, given the security concerns and logistics it's likely Bales would remain at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the board doctors would go to him. That said, the officials add that no final decision has been made in that regard.
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