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Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be examined in spring by an Army panel of doctors to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial on charges of murdering 17 Afghan villagers, according to an Army official briefed on the case.

A sanity board of Army doctors from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center will meet with Bales and review his files to understand more about his personal life and military experience.

The board will likely examine any prescription medications he may have taken before the March 11 killings in two villages in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.

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