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Hearings begin abroad for soldier connected to Danny Chen's death

Danny Chen's parents

Danny Chen's parents Photo Credit: Pvt. Danny Chen's mother, Su Zhen Chen (right), talks about the alleged hazing he endured(Marc Beja)

Hearings for one of eight soldiers charged in connection with the death of Pvt. Danny Chen, of the Lower East Side, began Sunday in Afghanistan, the military said.

A hearing will decide if Spc. Ryan Offutt, 32, will face charges including involuntary manslaughter of 19-year-old Chen, who apparently committed suicide in October after weeks of alleged physical and verbal abuse.

Chen's family requested all hearings be held in the U.S. so they could attend.

George Wright, an army spokesman at the Pentagon, said the hearings are taking place “near where the crimes were allegedly committed, and in proximity to witnesses and evidence.” He did not say if future hearings would also be held abroad.

If convicted, Offutt could be jailed for 23 years, dishonorably discharged, stripped of his pay and demoted.

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