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Defense rests in Fort Bragg hazing court-martial

Posted July 28, 2012

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— The defense rested Saturday in the case of the first of eight soldiers charged with negligent homicide after the suicide of a comrade in Afghanistan.

Military prosecutors say that Sgt. Adam Holcomb, of Youngstown, Ohio, and the seven other soldiers charged hazed Pvt. Danny Chen, 19, for weeks before he shot and killed himself in a guardhouse at a Afghanistan base on Oct. 3.

According to court documents, Chen was kicked, dragged from his tent, forced to crawl on a gravel path and had sandbags tied to his arms. The son of Chinese immigrants, he also was called racial slurs like "dragon Lady" and forced to speak to his fellow soldiers in Chinese.

The defense finished its case by calling four witnesses, including a forensics psychologist from Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The prosecution began its rebuttal case by calling five witnesses.

The judge dismissed two charges of violating a regulation against Holcomb. If convicted of all the remaining charges, he faces up to 13½ years in military prison.

Chen served with the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. The court-martial was moved to Fort Bragg at the request of Maj. Gen. James Huggins, commander of the Bragg-based 82nd Airborne commander who oversaw Chen's unit during deployment.

The case is scheduled to resume Monday morning.


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