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Eight people charged in hazing death of Stone Foltz at Bowling Green State University

Pi Kappa Alpha pledges, almost all underage, were allegedly given 750 ml of liquor that they were forced to consume during an initiation event..
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Eight people have been charged in connection with the death of Stone Foltz, the Ohio college student who died earlier this year after an alleged hazing at Bowling Green State University.

A grand jury indictment on Wednesday charged six men with manslaughter and two men with hazing, among other charges, after Foltz died from alcohol poisoning following an alleged Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity event on March 4, according to the Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson.

Foltz’s roommates found him unresponsive at their apartment and he died at a hospital three days later. Foltz's blood alcohol level was .35, more than four times the legal limit, Dobson said.

“We believe and allege that hazing was an integral part of this event,” Dobson said.

Foltz was allegedly required to attend the party, held at an off-campus house, along with the other new members as part of the initiation process into the fraternity chapter, according to Dobson. Members of the fraternity revealed who would be paired with pledges as their “bigs,” an honorary big brother, little brother pairing often used in fraternities to help guide newer members.

Jacob Krinn, 20, was assigned to be Foltz’s big brother, the prosecutor said.

Image: Stone Foltz
Stone Foltz.Courtesy Foltz family

The new members, almost all underage, were given 750 ml of liquor that they were forced to consume that night, Dobson said.

“It is alleged that Stone Foltz consumed all or nearly all of the contents of his bottle and then was taken home by several members, including his big brother Jacob Krinn,” Dobson said. “He was left there alone.”

Dobson also alleged that several fraternity members intentionally misled investigators and disposed of evidence to protect themselves and the chapter.

Krinn faces the most severe charge of first-degree manslaughter, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison, and a charge of reckless homicide. He is also facing a third-degree manslaughter charge and a hazing charge, along with Daylen Dunson, 20; Canyon Caldwell, 21; Troy Henricksen, 23; Niall Sweeney, 21; and Jarrett Prizel, 19.

Krinn’s mother declined to comment to NBC News when reached by phone. It was not immediately clear if Krinn had a lawyer.

Eric Long, an attorney representing Henricksen, said in a statement Thursday he is confident that the court process will clear his client.

“This is clearly a tragic matter; however, it is not being helped by the indictment of Troy Henricksen,” Long said. “The facts are clear, even at this early juncture that he is not criminally liable.”

Dunson, Caldwell, Prizel, and Sweeney did not immediately return messages requesting comment from NBC News on Thursday.

Aaron Lehane, 21 was charged with tampering with evidence and obstructing official business. All of the men were charged with misdemeanor offenses of hazing and failing to comply with underage alcohol laws.

Benjamin Boyers, 21, was only charged with misdemeanor offenses of hazing and failing to comply with underage alcohol laws and is expected to have those charges dismissed, according to a statement from Dobson’s office announcing the indictment.

Neither Boyers or Lehane immediately responded to messages requesting comment from NBC News.

All the defendants were issued summons to appear in court on May 19, Dobson said.

Foltz's parents released a statement through their attorneys on Thursday urging "zero tolerance" in the case.

"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," the statement said. "It's unacceptable, and in Stone's case, it was fatal. How many injuries and deaths will it take for people in positions of power to do the right thing?"

Pi Kappa Alpha’s chapter was expelled from Bowling Green State University earlier this month, and the university said in a statement that it would never be recognized on campus again.

“The university’s investigation found the fraternity to be reckless with a disregard for the health and safety of our community,” the statement said. “The investigation also revealed a deep culture of deception rooted in the organization, filled with dishonesty and disrespect for our community.”