Trial begins for third soldier tied to Pvt. Danny Chen's death
A trial began Thursday for an Army officer accused of ignoring his subordinates as they tormented Lower East Side native Danny Chen for weeks before he killed himself in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Blaine Dugas "willfully failed to foster a climate in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect . . . by failing to prevent his subordinates from maltreating and engaging in racially abusive language and conduct toward Private Danny Chen," according to court documents. The court martial is scheduled to resume on Friday.
Elizabeth OuYang, president of the New York Organization of Chinese Americans, which has been working with Chen's family, said she was hopeful that Dugas would be discharged and jailed.
"Everyone in this platoon knew what was going on with Danny and the singling out of Danny," she said. "How could he not know?"
Dugas, 36, is the third of eight soldiers to face charges the military panel. The first faces 30 days in jail, and the second was discharged and sent to jail for 6 months.