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Platoon Sergeant Faces Court-Martial in Death of Manhattan Soldier

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A platoon sergeant from Texas is facing a court-martial in connection with the death of a 19-year-old soldier from Manhattan's Chinatown.

Staff Sergeant Blaine Dugas, 36, is accused of failing to prevent the mistreatment and abuse that officials say led to Private Danny Chen's suicide last October.

Defense attorney says Dugas had no knowledge of any hazing or mistreatment of Chen.

A total of eight soldiers have been charged in connection to Chen's death. Two other soldiers already have been tried.

Last month, Sergeant Adam Holcomb was convicted of mistreating Chen days before Chen’s suicide, but he was acquitted of being a cause of Chen’s death. He was sentenced to 30 days in a military prison.

On Monday, Specialist Ryan Offutt pleaded guilty to one count of hazing and two specifications of maltreatment. He will serve 6 months in a military prison.

With the Associated Press

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