Defense witnesses point to family, physical demands for soldier's death
Updated: Updated 07/27/2012 08:23 PM
By: Amanda Weber
FORT BRAGG – The defense continued to state its case during court martial hearings Friday that Sgt. Adam Holcomb was not the cause of Pvt. Danny Chen taking his own life. Instead, they argue his family had disowned him and he was not able to meet the physical demands while deployed.
Holcomb is charged with negligent homicide and is one of eight soldiers who faces charges in connection with Chen's death. Chen was found killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound last October while he was deployed to Afghanistan.
Spc. Justin Christianson took the stand Friday and told the court when he would receive care packages from home, Chen would look in envy.
“[Chen] said he would never get a care package because his parents disowned him as soon as they found out he joined the military,” he testified.
Prosecutors pointed out that Chen later received a package from his parents and was overjoyed.
Defense attorneys also called Spc. Nicholas Sepeda to the stand. He explained to the court the physical demands while deployed – often carrying 60 to 70 pounds of equipment while on patrols in over 100-degree temperatures – and went on to say Chen was not ready to meet those demands.
Prosecutors rested their case Thursday. If convicted, Holcomb could face up to 18 years in prison.
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