Sgt Acquitted of Charges in Private's Suicide

Military officials have said Pvt. Danny Chen killed himself in Afghanistan after weeks of physical and emotional abuse

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012  |  Updated 6:36 AM EDT
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Sgt Acquitted of Charges in Private's Suicide

Pvt. Danny Chen

One of the eight soldiers charged in the death of New York City soldier Pvt. Danny Chen has been acquitted of the most serious charges he was facing.

Sgt. Adam M. Holcomb, of Youngstown, Ohio, was instead convicted on twoPct/ counts of maltreatment and one count of assault, the New York Times reported. He was found not guilty of negligent homicide and reckless endangerment, among other charges, according to the Times.

Holcomb was one of eight soldiers charged in the death of Chen, 19, who shot himself on Oct. 3, 2011 after what investigators say were weeks of physical abuse, humiliation and racial slurs.

A native New Yorker of Chinese descent, Chen had been in Afghanistan only two months when he shot himself in a guardhouse at a remote outpost in Afghanistan's Kandahar province.

His family has said investigators told them that he was subjected to racial slurs and forced to do excessive sit-ups, push-ups, runs and sprints carrying sandbags.

Previously, an investigative hearing recommended Spc. Ryan Offutt, 32, be court-martialed over the hazing but dismissed the most serious charge against him. That hearing was at Kandahar Air Field.

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