US Soldier Charged In Suicide Faces Hearing

By Salon Staff

Published January 15, 2012 6:00AM (EST)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The U.S. military says one of eight soldiers accused of abuse that drove a 19-year-old soldier to suicide is facing a preliminary hearing at a base in a southern Afghanistan.

Spc. Ryan J. Offutt faces charges including maltreatment, involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide in the death of Pvt. Danny Chen.

The Chinese-American shot himself in a guardhouse in Afghanistan in October after what investigators say were weeks of racial slurs and being forced to work grueling extra details.

Offutt, 32, was charged in December along with seven others. A military statement says he served 14 months in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan. The Sunday hearing under Article 32 of the military code will determine whether Offutt faces court martial.

Salon Staff

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