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Military Investigators Recommended Courts-Martial For 2 Charged In Pvt. Danny Chen’s Death

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Pvt. Danny Chen (credit: CBS 2)

Pvt. Danny Chen (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – U.S. military investigators have recommended two soldiers be court-martialed in the death of a fellow infantryman Pvt. Danny Chen of Chinatown who committed suicide in Afghanistan in last fall.

First Lt. Daniel J. Schwartz from Maryland and Sgt. Travis F. Carden from Indiana are among eight soldiers charged in the death of 19-year-old Danny Chen. The two soldiers were recommended for courts-martial following a pretrial hearing at Kandahar Air Field on Sunday.

Chen’s relatives say he was brutally hazed during training because he was Chinese-American.

Elizabeth OuYang of the Organization of Chinese Americans, said fellow soldiers called Chen “Jackie Chen” and said he was dragged across the floor and had stones thrown at him, among other things.

Chen’s diaries and Facebook comments also indicated he underwent physical and emotional abuse by some his fellow soldiers.

The 19-year-old was found dead in a guard tower in October in what Army officials said was “an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

The first lieutenant and the sergeant each face various criminal charges in his death. The Department of Defense says Schwartz is charged with eight counts of dereliction of duty and Carden is charged with two counts of violation of a lawful general regulation, two counts of maltreatment and one count of assault.

Also charged in connection with Chen’s death are Staff Sgt. Blaine G. Dugas, Staff Sgt. Andrew J. Van Bockel, Sgt. Adam M. Holcomb, Sgt. Jeffrey T. Hurst, Spc. Thomas P. Curtis and Spc. Ryan J. Offutt.

In January, an investigative hearing recommended that Offutt be court-martialed on charges including assault, negligent homicide, and reckless endangerment.

All are members of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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