2 former Mizzou fraternity members charged in hazing case

Mid-South

(NewsNation) — Two former members of a University of Missouri fraternity have been indicted for a hazing incident that left a 19-year-old student blind and unable to walk or communicate after his parents say he was forced to drink a full bottle of vodka.

On Friday, a Boone County grand jury indicted Ryan Delanty and Thomas Shultz, both former Phi Gamma Delta fraternity members from St. Louis County, in the hazing of Daniel Santulli, 19, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, according to court documents.

Both were charged with felony hazing and misdemeanors of supplying liquor to a minor or intoxicated person. Shultz also faces a felony for tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution.

Santulli was pledging the fraternity last October when he was found unresponsive after a night of coerced drinking activities, officials say. Authorities ultimately determined his blood alcohol content was 0.486, six times the legal limit.

Earlier this month, surveillance footage from the night of the incident showed how the events unfolded. Pledges of the fraternity were blindfolded and marched down the stairs. Later they are shown with bottles of liquor taped to their hands.

Santulli appears visibly intoxicated and is seen swaying back and forth until he falls to the ground. Several others pick him up and take him to a couch, where he remains for the next 1.5 hours.

All alone, Santulli can be seen slumping and falling to the floor. His attorney says he was in full cardiac arrest. Doctors at the hospital used a ventilator to save his life, but now he’s confined to a wheelchair, blind and unable to speak.

In addition to the indictment Friday, another member of the fraternity, Alec Wetzler, was charged earlier this month with misdemeanor counts of supplying alcohol to a minor and possession of alcohol by a minor.

In May, Santulli’s family settled with nearly two dozen defendants in a civil lawsuit.

Friday’s indictment is just the latest case involving criminal charges for hazing-related incidents.

Last week, three former fraternity members were sentenced to jail for their roles in an incident that resulted in the death of 20-year-old Stone Foltz at Bowling Green State University in March 2021.

Despite their guilty pleas, the three won’t spend any longer than four weeks behind bars. It’s a sentence experts who specialize in hazing cases say is far from adequate.

“Can you imagine if you had done something that resulted in the death of someone and you did it with a gun, for example?” Bianchi said on “NewsNation Prime.” “You wouldn’t be sentenced to 21 days in jail. You’d go to jail for years, but this is the way it is.”

Two others tied to the Bowling Green incident that killed a 20-year-old sophomore were sentenced to four weeks of house arrest and two years probation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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