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7.30.2012

army sergeant found not guilty of negligent homicide in death of danny chen



Breaking news from the Danny Chen case... This afternoon, a military jury found Sgt. Adam Holcomb not guilty of negligent homicide in the death of Pvt. Chen: Soldier accused of negligent homicide not guilty.

Holcomb was found guilty on two lesser charges, maltreatment of a subordinate and assault. He faces a maximum of two and half years in prison.

Danny Chen killed himself after enduring weeks of physical abuse and racial hazing while serving in Afghanistan. Holcomb was one of eight soldiers facing court-martial in connection with Chen's death:
The jury found the sergeant, Adam M. Holcomb, not guilty of negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, communicating a threat and violations of a military statute that prohibits hazing. Sergeant Holcomb was convicted of two counts of maltreatment and one count of assault consummated by battery.

The verdicts suggested that prosecutors had difficulty convincing the military jury that Sergeant Holcomb’s treatment of Private Chen, which the prosecutors said included brutal hazing and racial taunts, had led directly to the private’s suicide.

The 10-member jury of Army officers and enlisted soldiers began its deliberations on Monday, the sixth day of the trial, after hearing closing arguments. Sergeant Holcomb was one of eight soldiers charged in the case and the first to be tried.
"Private Chen killed Private Chen." In the end, Sgt. Holcomb's defense boiled it down to blaming the victim. Can we expect more of the same from the rest of the soldier charged in the case? Probably.

The guy gets two and a half years in prison. Meanwhile, Danny Chen's parents will never see him again. More here: Army Jury Acquits Sergeant of Driving Private to Suicide in Afghanistan.