FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — A platoon sergeant from Texas faces court-martial at Fort Bragg this week in the death of a New York soldier in Afghanistan last year.
The Fayetteville Observer reported (http://bit.ly/TEjKF8) that Staff Sgt. Blaine G. Dugas Jr. of Port Arthur, Texas, is scheduled to face a court-martial Thursday.
The 36-year-old Dugas is accused of failure to prevent the mistreatment and abuse that officials say led to 19-year-old Pvt. Danny Chen's suicide.
Chen shot himself in a guard tower at a small outpost in Afghanistan.
Defense attorney Guy Womack says Dugas had no knowledge of the hazing and mistreatment of Chen, who shot himself on Oct. 3.
"Staff Sgt. Dugas is an outstanding soldier and an outstanding leader," Womack said. "If he had learned about it, he would have stopped it."
Dugas is accused of failing to "foster a climate in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of race," according to court documents.
Two other soldiers have been tried in Chen's death.
Spc. Ryan J. Offutt of Greenville, Pa., was sentenced to six months in prison, demotion to private and a bad conduct discharge following a plea agreement.
Sgt. Adam Holcomb of Youngstown, Ohio, was sentenced to 30 days in prison and the loss of one rank.