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Pennsylvania soldier pleads guilty in alleged Bragg hazing case

Posted August 13, 2012

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— The trial of a second soldier accused of driving an Asian-American private to suicide last fall began Monday at Fort Bragg.

Spc. Ryan J. Offutt of Greenville, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count of hazing and two specifications of maltreatment in the death of 19-year-old Danny Chen of New York, who shot himself last year in Afghanistan after being hazed over his ethnicity, according to authorities.

Military Judge Col. Michael Hargis sentenced Offutt to six months in prison and demoted him to private. He will also receive a bad conduct discharge from the Army.

Offutt had been charged with negligent homicide, three counts of assault, reckless endangerment, four counts of maltreatment of a subordinate and two counts of violating a lawful general regulation.

He was accused of calling Chen derogatory names, kicking him and throwing rocks and water bottles at him, according to court documents.

In exchange for his plea and a promise to testify against the other soldiers involved in the death, all remaining charges against Offutt were dropped.

Last month, Sgt. Adam Holcomb was convicted of mistreating Chen days before Chen's suicide, but he was acquitted of causing Chen's death.

Holcomb was sentenced to 30 days in a military prison, demotion of one rank and forfeiture of more than $1,100 in pay. Five other soldiers also are charged in Chen's death.

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  • greg69innc Aug 13, 2012

    If these soldiers were so bad why did he not just request for a transfer? He obviously had deep issues and he chose to off himself. He did it not these soldiers whose lives were jepeordized due to the incompetence of this whacked out emotional trainwreck that wasted a bullet.

  • IzzMad2016 Aug 13, 2012

    Disgusting. How do these men look at themselves in the mirror each day knowing they bullied and harrassed a fellow solder to his death? Thus far the penalties levied against this so called soldier and the first one seem meaningless and the punishments certainly do not fit the crime. Shameful.

  • scg Aug 13, 2012

    No one cares for this news. Just look at the comments here and then look at Biden news. Such a pathetic world we live in.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Aug 13, 2012

    The soldiers should absolutely be ashamed of themselves. They should all be discharged with no honor.