Updated 08/13/2012 11:43 AM
Soldier pleads guilty to hazing fellow soldier following suicide
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
FAYETTEVILLE -- Spc. Ryan Offutt pleaded guilty to charges of hazing and maltreatment toward Pvt. Danny Chen Monday.
This comes less than a month after Sgt. Adam Holcomb was convicted of assaulting Chen, but acquitted on charges of causing his death. Offutt is the second of eight soldiers to face charges related to the death of Chen, a native New Yorker with Chinese-American heritage who committed suicide last October in Afghanistan.
The government has agreed to drop the other two charges-homicide neglect and assault. The maximum sentence for the two charges of which he has plead guilty will be either three or four years, that has yet to be determined by the judge. Offutt also requested to plead in front of the judge only. There is no trial panel in this case.
According to Army officials, Chen, was verbally and physically abused, including racially-motivated taunts, by soldiers in his own company. He eventually shot himself on Oct. 3 in a guard tower in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Holcomb was convicted of assault and maltreatment of Chen and is serving a 30-day military prison sentence, but allowed to remain in the Army. Chen's family and supporters were outraged at the verdict.
"Allowing a superior convicted of racial maltreatment to a junior soldier to remain in the Army calls into question the Army's commitment to diversity and respect," said Elizabeth Ouyang, the president of OCA.