Updated 07/30/2012 04:29 PM
Holcomb found guilty on two of four charges in Fort Bragg court martial
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FORT BRAGG — The sentencing phase is now underway in the court martial of an army sergeant charged in connection with the death of 19-year-old Pvt. Danny Chen.
The jury was given the case shortly after lunch today to decide what charges SSgt. Adam Holcomb would be found guilty.
After a short time deliberating, they found Holcomb guilty of assault and guilty of maltreatment in connection to an incident where authorities said Holcomb dragged Chen over rocks and made racially charged remarks.
He was found not guilty on two other charges, reckless endangerment and negligent homicide, and not guilty of hazing.
Prosecutors said Chen shot himself in Afghanistan last year after weeks of emotional and physical abuse.
Holcomb is one of eight soldiers charged in connection with the death of Chen.
Attorneys from both sides were able to state their case one last time in closing arguments Monday morning. Prosecutors reiterated to jurors that Danny Chen was trapped in Afghanistan with no one to turn to for help.
Defense attorneys argued Chen was troubled before he left for deployment.
Prosecutors told the court Chen was a healthy man mentally and physically before he joined the Army and was when he left for Afghanistan.
They said the situation changed when he arrived overseas; as he was abused verbally and physically. Attorneys said he had no way out and eventually took his own life.
Prosecutors said Sgt. Holcomb is to blame for the suicide, that Holcomb tormented Pvt. Chen by calling him “Dragon Lady” and dragging him out of bed and over rocks as punishment.
Defense attorneys argued Chen was an unprepared under-trained soldier who should have never been deployed.
Attorneys said what occurred in Afghanistan toward Chen was corrective training for his habitual mistakes. They said Holcomb is not to blame for Chen’s death; as Chen is the only person who can be held responsible.