For many people in Louisiana, college is a time of learning and experimentation. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, it can mean experimentation with alcohol in large quantities. Police say that the recent death of a fraternity pledge was due to alcohol intoxication. Ten people are now likely considering their criminal defense after police say they played a role in the man's death.
The incident happened in September and involved an 18-year-old student. Reports indicate that initiates of Phi Delta Theta as well as members of the fraternity were playing a game dubbed "Bible Study." As part of the game, pledges were reportedly asked questions about the fraternity's history. If they answered a question incorrectly, they were reportedly told to drink.
The deceased man was transported to the hospital in a private vehicle where he passed away due to "acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration," according to the coroner. Ten people were charged with hazing. One of those also faces a more serious charge of negligent homicide.
Everyone connected to this incident will probably be affected for the rest of their lives. Because the incident gained a large amount of media attention, prosecutors in Louisiana are likely eager to show that they are attempting to hold those they believe responsible fully accountable for their alleged actions. However, to gain a conviction, there must be more than a prosecutor's desire to make a statement -- there must be sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced attorney can help an accused individual fully understand the charges and help to create an effective criminal defense.
Source: Reuters, "Ten charged in booze-fueled death of Louisiana State fraternity pledge", Ian Simpson, Oct. 11, 2017