FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - A military jury on Monday found an Army sergeant from Youngstown accused of hazing a private because of his Chinese heritage not guilty of negligent homicide in the death of the private, who killed himself in Afghanistan.
The 10-member jury at Fort Bragg did find Sgt. Adam Holcomb guilty on two lesser charges, maltreatment of a subordinate and assault. Holcomb, from Youngstown, faces a maximum of 2 1/2 years in prison.
The jury deliberated for two hours after hearing closing arguments.
Holcomb was the first of eight soldiers to be court-martialed for the alleged racial hazing of Pvt. Danny Chen, who killed himself last October. All of the defendants were members of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
Chen, 19, shot himself to death in a guardhouse Oct. 3. He was called names while in training, then was subjected to hazing after he was deployed to Afghanistan, his family has said. On the day of Chen's death, he was forced to crawl about 100 yards across gravel carrying his equipment while his fellow soldiers threw rocks at him, the family said.
Holcomb issued a statement from the stand apologizing for his actions, saying that he knows what he did was wrong and alluding to suffering from symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.