NC soldier pleads guilty in hazing death case

August 13, 2012 - 3:35 PM

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — A second soldier accused of driving an Asian-American private to suicide last fall has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in a court-martial in North Carolina.

Spc. Ryan J. Offutt of Greenville, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count of hazing and two specifications of maltreatment in the death of 19-year-old Danny Chen of New York. Authorities say Chen shot himself last year in Afghanistan after being hazed over his ethnicity.

Sentencing was scheduled for later Monday at Fort Bragg. Offutt had been charged with negligent homicide and other offenses.

Last month, Sgt. Adam Holcomb was convicted of mistreating Chen, but he was acquitted of being a cause of Chen's death. Holcomb was sentenced to 30 days in a military prison, demotion of one rank and forfeiture of more than $1,100 in pay.