COLUMBUS, Ohio – Eight students have been indicted in the fraternity hazing death of Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz, an Ohio prosecutor announced Thursday.
Foltz, 20, was hospitalized March 5 after he consumed what his family’s attorney said was “a copious amount of alcohol.”
The indictment of eight men between 19 and 23 years old were announced Thursday by Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson.
Jacob Krinn, 20, is charged with first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter, while five others are charged with third-degree felony involuntary manslaughter. Two more students face hazing charges.
Four of the eight are charged with tampering with evidence.
More from the Columbus Dispatch:Eight BGSU students indicted in fraternity hazing death
On the night of March 4, BGSU’s chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity held its traditional “Big Brother Night.” The event, common in fraternities during the pledging process, involves pledges being introduced to the active fraternity member who will serve as their mentor or “big brother.”
It was at that event that Foltz and other pledges were forced to drink a handle of hard liquor, equivalent to about 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.
Fallout:Bowling Green State University permanently bans PIKE fraternity after death of Stone Foltz
Family and lawyer call again for stop to fraternity hazing
Foltz family attorney Rex Elliot said these indictments are an “important first step” in abolishing hazing.
“There have to be serious consequences for this behavior, otherwise it won’t stop,” he said. “Our mission is to make sure no other young life is lost.”
Elliot said dramatic reform is necessary to end hazing, including colleges and universities nationwide adopting zero-tolerance hazing policies that permanently ban organizations that fail to comply.
“We think that is the only way this type of senseless injury and death will stop,” he said. “We are not going to stop on this effort until there is dramatic reform and we stop these injuries and deaths.”
Shari and Cory Foltz, Stone’s parents, shared a statement through their attorneys expressing their gratitude in this announcement. These indictments, however, are just the first step, they said.
“We are living every parent’s worst nightmare and will not be at peace until fraternity hazing is seen for what it truly is — abuse. It’s unacceptable, and in Stone’s case, it was fatal,” the parents wrote. “How many injuries and deaths will it take for people in positions of power to do the right thing?.”
“Swift action also needs to be taken by government officials and university presidents nationwide to abolish fraternity hazing,” they wrote.
Follow reporter Sheridan Hendrix on Twitter: @sheridan120
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