FORT BRAGG, N.C. — The New York Times is reporting that a military jury today acquitted a sergeant on the most-serious charges in the death of Pvt. Danny Chen, a Chinese-American from Manhattan who killed himself last year while deployed in Afghanistan.
The jury found the sergeant, Adam M. Holcomb, 29, of Youngstown, not guilty of negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, communicating a threat and violations of a military statute that prohibits hazing. Holcomb was convicted of two counts of maltreatment and one count of assault consummated by battery.
The verdicts suggested that prosecutors had difficulty convincing the military jury that Holcomb’s treatment of Chen, which the prosecutors said included brutal hazing and racial taunts, had led directly to the private’s suicide.
The 10-member jury of Army officers and enlisted soldiers began its deliberations earlier today, the sixth day of the trial, after hearing closing arguments. Holcomb was one of eight soldiers charged in the case and the first to be tried.