COLUMBUS, Ohio – Eight college students have been charged in the fraternity with the death of Stone Foltz, a student at Bowling Green State University, an Ohio prosecutor said Thursday.
Foltz, 20, was hospitalized on March 5 after consuming what his family’s lawyer said was “a large amount of alcohol”.
The indictment of eight men, aged 19 to 23, was announced Thursday by Wood County District Attorney Paul Dobson.
Jacob Krinn, 20, is charged with first degree manslaughter, while five others are charged with third degree manslaughter. Two other students face hazing charges.
Four of the eight are accused of tampering with evidence.
More information about the Columbus Dispatch:Eight BGSU students charged with fraternity death
On the night of March 4, the BGSU chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity organized its traditional “Big Brother Night”. The event, which is common in fellowships during the pledge process, involves commitments being presented to the active fellowship member who will serve as a mentor or “big brother”.
It was during this event that Foltz and other promises were forced to drink a handful of hard alcohol, equivalent to around 40 shots, as part of an initiation into the fraternity.
Foltz was dropped off that night at his apartment by members of the fraternity. His roommate found him half an hour later unconscious and called 911.
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Foltz family attorney Rex Elliot said the indictments were an “important first step” in abolishing hazing.
“There must be serious consequences for this behavior, otherwise it will not stop,” he said. “Our mission is to ensure that no other young life is lost.”
Elliot said sweeping reform was needed to end hazing, including colleges and universities across the country adopting zero-tolerance hazing policies that permanently ban organizations that don’t comply.
“We believe this is the only way this type of senseless injury and death will stop,” he said. “We are not going to dwell on this effort until there is dramatic reform and we stop these injuries and deaths.”
Stone’s parents Shari and Cory Foltz shared a statement through their attorneys expressing gratitude for the announcement. These indictments, however, are only the first step, they said.
“We are living through every parent’s worst nightmare and will not be at peace until fraternity hazing is seen for what it really is – abuse. This is unacceptable, and in Stone’s case, it was fatal, ”the parents wrote. “How many injuries and deaths will it take for those in positions of power to do the right thing?”
“Swift action must also be taken by government officials and university presidents across the country to abolish fraternity hazing,” they wrote.
Follow reporter Sheridan Hendrix on Twitter: @ sheridan120
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