Sentence for hazing death not tough enough, lawyer says

Midwest

(NewsNation) — A lawyer who’s specialized in hazing deaths for 30 years says a sentencing from Thursday proves courts still don’t take them seriously enough.

Three former fraternity members were sentenced to jail terms for their roles in the hazing death of a Bowling Green State University student, but they will spend no more than four weeks behind bars. Two others were ordered to serve house arrest.

Attorney David Bianchi says it’s 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.”

Jarrett Prizel, 19, of Olean, New York, Daylen Dunson, 22, of Cleveland, and Ben Boyers, 21, of Sylvania, Ohio, had all pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and hazing counts. Dunson and Boyers also pleaded guilty to obstructing justice, while Dunson also admitted to tampering with evidence.

Niall Sweeney, 21, of Erie, Pennsylvania, and Aaron Lehane, 21, of Loveland, Ohio, both pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and hazing, while Lehane also admitted to obstructing official business.

The charges stemmed from the March 2021 death of Stone Foltz, 20, a sophomore from Delaware, Ohio.

Authorities have said Foltz died of alcohol poisoning after a fraternity initiation event in which he was hazed into finishing an entire bottle of alcohol. He was found unconscious by a roommate after members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity dropped him off at his apartment.

Foltz died three days after he was put on life support.

Prizel was sentenced to 28 days in jail and two years’ probation. Dunson received a 21-day jail term and three years of probation, while Sweeney was given a 14-day jail sentence and two years of probation. All three were also sentenced to serve 28 days of house arrest.

Boyers and Lehane were each sentenced to 28 days of house arrest and two years’ probation.

Sentencing is pending for three other former fraternity members.

In a statement issued Thursday, Foltz’s parents, Shari and Cory Foltz, noted the sentencings were the conclusion for the former fraternity members. But the couple said “there will be no closure for our family until hazing is permanently eradicated on college campuses.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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