Most Serious Charges Dismissed for Sgt. Jeffrey T. Hurst in Danny Chen Suicide Case

Monday's court-martial had a late start after the full jury panel of 12 failed to show up for duty.

The most serious charge of negligent homicide was dismissed on Monday in the court-martial for Sgt. Jeffrey T. Hurst.

As the sixth of eight soldiers standing trial for accusations of mistreating and hazing Pvt. Danny Chen that some claim led to his suicide.

At 10:15a.m. Col. David Roberts heard the plea 'not guilty' from Hurst before putting the court in recess until 1:30p.m. because there were only 9 of the 12 jurors present.

Later on Monday the missing jurors were found, and the defense and prosecution began the selection process to seat 12 jurors.

Hurst is accused violating a lawful regulation, dereliction of his duties and maltreatment of a person subject to his orders. Documents allege that Hurst wrongfully hazed Chen, called him racially derogatory names and was negligent by failing to prevent four other soldiers from hazing Chen.

The soldier denied hazing Chen, later in the evening's court-martial proceedings according to a Fayetteville Observer report.

Hurst and the other leaders failed to protect Chen, prosecutor Major Joshua Toman said. Toman argued how other soldiers in the unit had begun documenting Chen's mistreatment and were preparing to go outside their platoon for help when Chen killed himself.

The court-martial resumes at 8 a.m. today at Fort Bragg's courthouse.

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