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Texas soldier faces NC court-martial in death

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FORT BRAGG, NC (AP) -- A platoon sergeant from Texas faces court-martial at Fort Bragg this week in the death of a New York soldier in Afghanistan last year.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that Staff Sgt. Blaine G. Dugas Jr. of Port Arthur, Texas, is scheduled to face a court martial Thursday.

The 36-year-old Dugas is accused of failure to prevent the mistreatment and abuse that officials say led to 19-year-old Pvt. Danny Chen's suicide.

Defense attorney Guy Womack says Dugas had no knowledge of the hazing and mistreatment of Chen, who shot himself on Oct. 3.

Two other soldiers already have been tried.

Spc. Ryan J. Offutt of Greenville, Pa., was sentenced to six months in prison. Sgt. Adam Holcomb was sentenced to 30 days in prison.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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