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Crossover: 3 soldiers to plead guilty in Danny Chen death case

08-13-2012 10:26 BJT

By Jessica Stone

CCTV has learned that three of the seven soldiers still facing trials in the death of U.S. Army Private Danny Chen are expected to take plea agreements this week. Chen killed himself October 3, 2011 in Afghanistan after enduring six weeks of race-based hazing and abuse.

Just one day before his trial is scheduled to begin, Specialist Ryan Offutt, 32, from Dayton Ohio is expected to plead guilty to hazing and maltreatment, in order to avoid prosecution on charges of reckless endangerment and negligent homicide in Chen's death. Offutt now faces a maximum penalty of four years in jail and a dishonorable discharge. On Monday, Offutt is expected to accept the terms of the plea deal and to be declared guilty by a military judge.

In addition, CCTV has also learned that Specialist Thomas Curtis IV has also agreed to plead guilty to hazing, assault and maltreatment. He too will avoid negligent homicide and reckless endangerment charges. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in jail and dishonorable discharge. Both soldiers must testify against the others on trial.

Staff Sergeant Blaine Dugas is back in Fort Brag Courthouse on Thursday to plead guilty to charges of drinking illegally on the job. He still faces charges of dereliction of duty and making a false statement, after he denied knowing about the alleged abuse against Private Chen.

In a statement through their attorney, Private Chen's parents, Su Zhen Chen and Yan Tao Chen said quote: "We take some solace in knowing that two more of the men who abused and mistreated our son are pleading guilty and will be punished. We wish to refrain from further comment until the completion of the court-martials."

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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