Local News

Trial delayed for soldier charged in private's death

Posted October 19, 2012 11:18 a.m. EDT

— A court-martial set to begin next week for one of eight soldiers accused in the suicide of a comrade in Afghanistan has been postponed, Fort Bragg officials said Friday.

The case against 1st Lt. Daniel Schwartz, originally on the docket for Wednesday, has been delayed because of procedural motions by prosecutors and the defense, the military said.

Schwartz, an officer assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, is facing charges relating to the death of Pvt. Danny Chen. Chen, 19, shot himself in a guard house at an Afghanistan base Oct. 3, 2011.

Schwartz is one of eight soldiers accused of hazing Chen in the weeks before his death. 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.

Four soldiers already have been convicted in the case.

Sgt. Travis Carden was sentenced to reduction in rank to E-4 and forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay for one month; Staff Sgt. Blaine G. Dugas Jr. was sentenced to three months in prison and a one-rank demotion; Spc. Ryan J. Offutt was sentenced to six months in prison, demotion to private and a bad conduct discharge; and Sgt. Adam Holcomb was sentenced to 30 days in prison and the loss of one rank.