Soldier Pleads Guilty in Danny Chen Case, Faces Stiffer Punishment

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By Nick Gallinelli The next military member to be on trial in the Danny Chen suicide case pleaded guilty on Monday, leading to a smoother resolution than Sgt. Adam Holcomb's trial last month. Spc. Ryan Offutt reportedly pleaded guilty to charges of maltreatment and hazing. Offutt was sentenced to six months in prison, rank demotion and discharge. "This sentence is a victory for the Chen family and for all Americans," Council Member Margaret Chin said in a statement regarding the decision. "The removal of Spc. Offutt from the Army is necessary to make clear that the United States military will not tolerate racism, bigotry and abuse at the hands of superior officers." The military court's decision comes a couple of weeks after the controversial Adam Holcomb trial. Holcomb's acquittal on negligent homicide charges and subsequent punishment spurred reprimand from the Chinatown community and Asian-American politicians. Holcomb was sentenced to 30 days in military prison, a fine slightly more than $1,000 and a rank demotion. Pvt. Chen shot himself on Oct. 3 while on duty in Afghanistan. Six more soldiers await court martial in North Carolina. Chen was a Chinatown resident.

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