The tragic story of a 19-year-old fraternity hopeful at Penn State who was hazed to death on February 3, 2017, obtained national headlines. As details emerged, it became apparent that frat members possibly played a significant role in what ultimately led to the young man’s death. The extreme hazing left the man with not only severe alcohol poisoning, but substantial injuries following multiple falls, including a fall down a flight of stairs.
In all, the fraternity is facing substantial and very serious charges, including involuntary manslaughter, 50 counts of hazing, 48 counts of unlawful acts relative to liquor and 48 counts of furnishing alcohol to minors. Some members are also charged with tampering with evidence, reckless endangerment and felony aggravated assault. There are 18 defendants in all, currently going through preliminary hearings, including the viewing of surveillance tapes from the night of the tragedy.
For anyone facing such serious charges, it is important to protect yourself with a strong criminal defense strategy. They may also be able to work with prosecutors to work out a plea negotiation deal. For very serious charges, such as those these Penn State students are facing, it is almost crucial that the young men enter the courts with a solid plan for presenting a criminal defense.
A guilty outcome for the accused will likely lead to long-term or even life-long consequences, including substantial time in prison, penalties and a criminal record that may follow them for decades and play a role in what jobs they are able to obtain as well other restrictions on their future.
Source: StateCollege.com, “Surveillance Video Shown, Preliminary Hearing for Beta Theta Pi Brothers Continued,” Geoff Rushton, June 12, 2017