A United States army sergeant was found not guilty of negligent homicide by a military jury Monday afternoon after he allegedly hazed a fellow soldier of Chinese heritage, The Associated Press reports.
Sgt. Adam Holcomb, of Youngstown, OH, was, however, found guilty of maltreatment of subordinate and assault, two lesser charges. He faces a maximum of 2 1/2 years in prison.
Holcomb and seven other members of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division were accused of hazing Pvt. Danny Chen due to his ethnic background.
The physical and verbal abuse ultimately led to Chen committing suicide, AP reports. Chen reportedly shot himself in a guardhouse on Oct. 3.
Chen allegedly was forced to crawl about 110 yards across gravel carrying his equipment while his fellow soldiers threw rocks at him, AP reports.
Holcomb also pulled Chen from the top of a bunkbed and threw him to the floor. Prosecutors were able to show pictures of injuries Chen sustained to his lower back, NBC 17 reports.
Holcomb apologized for the abused he caused Chen blaming his actions on symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, according to AP.
“I haven’t had a CT scan, but I know I have issues up there,” he said.
“I don’t think we can say what this particular case means for the Chen family. What it can say is that the Army takes all of these allegations seriously. We investigated them, we put them before this jury,” said Major Joshua Toman, XVIII Airborne Corps, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Military Justice.
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