4 GIs Charged With Hazing Suicide Soldier

Ashamed private later shot himself in portable toilet
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2009 4:17 PM CDT
US Army soldiers in Iraq.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Four US Army soldiers in Iraq have been charged with cruelty and maltreatment for hazing a private who later killed himself, MSNBC reports. The NCOs allegedly hazed 19-year-old Keiffer P. Wilhelm with excessive physical exercise while showering him with verbal abuse. Wilhelm, self-conscious about his weight, shot himself in a portable toilet about 2 weeks ago. The soldiers face between 8 and 25 years in prison.

Sgt. Enoch Chatman and Staff Sgt. Bob Clements face the most charges, including making false statements, reckless endangerment, and impeding an investigation. Sgt. Jarrett Taylor and Spc. Daniel Weber face fewer but could serve nearly 10 years each. “Accusations of cruelty and maltreatment are taken very seriously, and we will investigate this isolated incident thoroughly,” a general tells the Military Times.