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Second Soldier’s Gets 6-Month Sentence In Death Of Pvt. Danny Chen

Pvt. Danny Chen (credit: CBS 2)

Pvt. Danny Chen (credit: CBS 2)

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A second soldier accused of driving an Asian-American private to suicide has received a six-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to reduced charges in a court-martial at Fort Bragg.

Spc. Ryan J. Offutt of Greenville, Pa., pleaded guilty Monday to one count of hazing and two specifications of maltreatment in the death of 19-year-old Danny Chen of Chinatown.

Offutt also will be demoted to private and receive a bad conduct discharge. He faced several charges, including negligent homicide.

Chen shot himself on Oct. 3, 2011 in Afghanistan after weeks of racial slurs, humiliation and physical abuse by his colleagues, military officials said.

Last month, Sgt. Adam Holcomb was convicted of mistreating Chen days before Chen’s suicide, but he was acquitted of being a cause of Chen’s death. He was found guilty of maltreatment of a subordinate and assault consummated by battery.

The jurors concluded that Holcomb assaulted Chen by pulling him out of bed and across large rocks. They found Holcomb guilty of maltreatment for calling Chen “Dragon Lady.”

Holcomb was sentenced to 30 days in a military prison, demotion of one rank and forfeiture of more than $1,100 in pay.

Elizabeth OuYang, president of the New York chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, said Holcomb’s sentence was simply not enough and tarnishes the Army’s reputation.

“A 30-day confinement hardly equates with Pvt. Danny Chen’s life being cut short,” OuYang said last month. “Asian-American parents will be petrified to send their sons and daughters to the Army.”

Six other soldiers also are charged in Chen’s death.

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)