Soldier testifies about hearing of suicide plans in Fort Bragg court martial hearing
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FORT BRAGG — The solider whom Pvt. Danny Chen confided in days before taking his own life testified Thursday in Day Three of a Court Martial on Fort Bragg.
Pvt. Chen was found shot to death by a self-inflicted gunshot wound last October while he was deployed to Afghanistan. Pfc. Degan Behre told the court Chen confided in him while the two were working in the guard tower in their compound in Afghanistan. Prosecutors asked Behre what Chen expressed; whereupon Behre answered “he said he wanted to commit suicide because of how he was being mistreated”
Pfc. Behre was asked by defense attorney’s if or when he went to a non-commissioned officer to report the discussion. Behre said he did not feel comfortable speaking with any of the offcicers at their compound, and waited four to five days to tell someone.
The next day Pvt. Chen was found dead.
Pfc. Behre described finding Chen’s body shot to death. Behre said in court: “His body was lying on the floor. His weapon was arm's length away. You could see the bullet penetrated up his chin and went through his cheek.”
Prosecutors argue Behre, like Chen, was a new guy in the group and did not feel comfortable reporting the suicidal thoughts expressed by Chen. Defense attorney’s argue Behre may not have taken the discussion seriously.
Prosecutors said they plan to call four to six more witnesses before the defense begins their case. Sergeant Adam Holcomb is charged with negligent homicide and is one of eight soldiers who faces charges related to Chen’s death.