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1st of 8 trials start for soldiers in hazing death

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (AP) — The first of eight court-martial trials is set to start in North Carolina against soldiers accused in racial hazing that led to the suicide of a fellow recruit in Afghanistan.

The court-martial for Sgt. Adam Holcomb of Youngstown, Ohio, will begin around 1 p.m. Tuesday at Fort Bragg. A court spokesman said the judge delayed the original morning start time.

Holcomb is one of eight soldiers charged in the death of 19-year-old Pvt. Danny Chen, of New York.

Military officials say Chen shot himself last year in Afghanistan after weeks of physical and emotional abuse. They say he was taunted for his Chinese-American ethnicity.

Holcomb faces a slew of charges, the most serious of which is negligent homicide. He faces nearly 18 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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