A soldier faced charges on Sunday at a hearing in Afghanistan for the death of Chinatown native Pvt. Danny Chen, who committed suicide allegedly due to bullying.
The decision of the hearing will determine if Spc. Ryan Offutt will face a criminal court martial for his alleged involvement in the death Chen. He could be charged with maltreatment, involuntary manslaughter, assault, negligent homicide and reckless endangerment, reported DNAinfo.com. The hearing could take up to four days to finish. Offutt is one of eight soldiers charged.
Chen's family wanted the hearings to be held in the U.S. so the family could attend.
However, the hearings will remain in Afghanistan near where the crimes were allegedly committed, and in proximity to witnesses and evidence, said George Wright, a spokesman for the Pentagon, reported AM New York.
On Oct. 3, Chen shot himself in Afghanistan after officials say he was subjected to weeks of mistreatment and physical abuse, including racial slurs. He had only been in Afghanistan for two months before he shot himself.
Chen expressed his discontent with members of his unit, the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, who constantly hazed him. They had allegedly forced him to work additional details, perform excessive pushups, sit-ups, runs, all while having rocks thrown at him, reported Fox News.
If convicted of the most serious charges, Offutt could face up to 13 years in prison.