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Court-martial to begin soon for Fort Wainwright soldier

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Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012 12:35 am | Updated: 11:52 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS – A court-martial for another of the eight Fort Wainwright soldiers accused in the October 2011 death of a fellow soldier in Afghanistan is scheduled to begin Monday at an Army base in North Carolina.

Sgt. Jeffrey Hurst was charged in December by military authorities with dereliction of duty, maltreatment, involuntary manslaughter, assault consummated by battery, negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.

Hurst and the other soldiers are assigned to the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, which was about halfway through its year-long deployment in Afghanistan at the time Pvt. Danny Chen died. Chen also was a member of the brigade.

Chen, 19 at the time of his death, reportedly killed himself after suffering repeated physical abuse and ethnic slurs by superiors. He was the son of Chinese immigrants who live in New York. His body was found in a guard tower on an American military base in southern Afghanistan, where the Stryker brigade was stationed.

Cases against five of the eight soldiers have concluded, with all soldiers being sentenced.

Courts-martial for the remaining two soldiers, 1st Lt. Daniel Schwartz and Staff Sgt. Andrew Vanbockel, are scheduled for the coming weeks.

Contact the newsroom at 459-7572.

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