Four U.S. soldiers could face a court-martial in the death of Pvt. Danny Chen, a Lower East Side resident who committed suicide in Afghanistan last year, military officials said Tuesday.
Staff Sgt. Andrew VanBockel, Sgt. Jeffrey Hurst, Sgt. Adam Holcomb and Spc. Thomas Curtis could stand trial for dereliction of duty and negligent homicide, among other charges. A military investigator, however, decided they shouldn't face charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Chen, 19, was repeatedly hazed and mocked for his Chinese ethnicity by his fellow soldiers before shooting himself last October, according to reports.
At a news conference Tuesday, city officials denounced the lesser charges: "The repeated injury and assaults perpetrated by these soldiers caused Danny's death," said Councilwoman Margaret Chin (D-Chinatown).