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Sergeant sentenced to 3 months in prison, demotion

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – A platoon sergeant from Texas has been sentenced to three months in prison and a one-rank demotion in the hazing-related suicide of a 19-year-old soldier in Afghanistan last year.

The Fayetteville Observer reports Friday that 36-year-old Staff Sgt. Blaine Dugas Jr. of Port Arthur, Texas, was convicted of dereliction of duty. He was found not guilty of three other charges in connection with the death of Pvt. Danny Chen of New York.

Authorities say Chen shot himself in a guard tower last October after being hazed over his ethnicity.

A military judge found Dugas failed to ensure the well-being of his soldiers by monitoring corrective training.

Two other soldiers already have been tried in the case. The defendants were members of a unit based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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