Trying to catch up following a vacation. These stories all relate to new, or ongoing, legal issues:
KMJNow.com reports that the criminal trial for three men connected to the hazing/alcohol death of Phillip Dhanens has been delayed. Dhanens was a new Theta Chi pledge at Fresno State when he died in August of 2012.
The family of Bethune-Cookman University student Marcus Thomas, claims that his death was the result of hazing in a civil lawsuit filed this week (Daytona Beach News Journal). Thomas was a pledge of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia when he died in a car accident after the driver fell asleep. Thomas and the driver had been kept up all night by members of the fraternity memorizing fraternity history. The lawsuit names Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Bethune-Cookman University, Lamar D. Bryant, identified in part as the coordinator of Greek life, and Marcus Allen, a fraternity member, as defendants. The lawsuit claims that “BCU and Lamar D. Bryant had direct knowledge of previous hazing activities occurring in student groups affiliated with BCU, including (the) fraternity, and did little or nothing to discipline the activity, thus sending a message to students that the anti-hazing policy was not enforced by the university.”
- Update (June 5) – The Daytona Beach News-Journal has more details.
The criminal court processes for the five members of Pi Kappa Alpha at Northern Illinois charged in the hazing death of David Bobenberger has begun (Dekalb Daily Chronicle). Four have entered not guilty pleas, and the fifth has had his cases reassigned to another judge. The next court date in June 25th.
The two women facing criminal charges in the Omega Essence hazing case at Penn State have plead guilty (Centre Daily). A member of Omega Psi Phi was found guilty in a trial concluded earlier in May. He had been described as the “ringleader” in the hazing incident. This would appear to end the criminal aspect of the case, I have not seen any indications of a civil lawsuit in this case.”
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that hazing charges against the former student government president, and Alpha Phi Alpha member, at Virginia State have been dismissed. There seemed to be a lot of disagreement about this case, and the decision to prosecute.