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Hazing Charges Dropped for Eight Fraternity Members

Gracie Miller | gmiller27@email.radford.edu

September of last year, 17 men were charged for a hazing incident. On Feb. 22, 2018, the charges were dropped for eight of these men.

Out of the 17 that were arrested, only 15 of them were confirmed to be Radford University students.

Pi Kappa Phi, the fraternity where this happened, is no longer recognized by its National Chapter or Radford University. The national division of Pi Kappa Pi officially closed its chapter at Radford University in June of 2016 after four members were arrested for a hazing incident.

The victim said that he was branded while pledging to this fraternity. He also said he and other pledges involved were forced to drink copious amounts of alcohol in a very short time span before they were granted access to a party.

The pledges were also given trash cans outside in case they needed to vomit from all the alcohol intake.

According to a warrant released, after these pledges were forced to drink alcohol their heads were covered with black trash bags, as they were forced to go into a room to receive a lap dance from strippers. While this was happening, they were instructed to hand their phones over to their Fraternity “brothers.”

The pledges had said that they remember being “whipped” by a stripper this night before they lost consciousness. The next morning one of the victims woke up in only boxers and socks. The Fraternity brothers had laid out his cell phone, vaping device, and pants neatly on the floor.

This victim had also noticed a severe wound that was thought to have come about by branding, but more recent information from the Roanoke Times says the injury was received from a malfunctioning vaping device. The device was in his pocket and very close to where he received the wound, he received several surgical procedures for this wound.

According to information from The Roanoke Times, the charges that these men are facing include hazing, common nuisances, and providing alcohol to underage people.

All charges against Luke Andress were dropped.

Kyle Best was still found guilty of providing alcohol to a minor, receiving a $500 fine. His hazing charges were dropped, and his 12-month jail sentence has been suspended for a year.

Christopher Gepford was found guilty of providing alcohol to a minor receiving a $500 fine, pleaded guilty to maintaining a public nuisance receiving a $100 fine. His hazing charges were dropped as well as his 12 months of jail time being suspended.

Caleb Howard guilty of providing alcohol to a minor receiving a $500 fine and must maintain no contact with the victim. His hazing chargers were dropped as well as his 12 months of jail time being suspended.

Joshua Ko guilty of providing alcohol to a minor receiving a $500 fine. His hazing chargers were dropped as well as his 12 months of jail time being suspended.

Clayton O’Neill had his hazing charge dropped, as well as a charge for possessing marijuana. He pleaded not guilty to the charges of being a common nuisance and providing alcohol to a minor but was still found guilty on both accounts. He received a $600 fine, and his 12-months suspended jail time.

Matthew Thomas found guilty of being a common nuisance receiving a $100 fine. He must maintain no contact with the victim. His hazing chargers were dropped as well as his 12 months of jail time.

Matthew Wedel found guilty of providing alcohol to a minor receiving a $500 fine, must maintain no contact with the victim. His hazing chargers were dropped as well as his 12 months of jail time.

All of these men have been instructed to maintain zero contact with the freshman that was injured.

The rest of the men who were charged will appear in court on March 1 at 10 a.m. These men include Jason Wheeler, Carlos Escobar, Joseph Sible, Trever Stanford, Justin Hooper, Marcel Gough, Samuel Harris, Hunter Hanes, and Jacob Tucker.

Photo Credit: (Radford Police Department via WTVR)

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