Monday, July 16, 2007

Chico State Hazing Case May Be Another Duke

Duke Lacrosse: The Sequel?
Written by Administrator
Fratastic

Is the Chico State hazing case another instance of an overzealous District Attorney using the media to convict defendants in the public eye?

That’s what defense attorney Bill Mayo would have you believe. I have to admit it is strange that even after a press release was sent out by the D.A. about the case, Mayo couldn’t find records of the charges at the local courthouse. The Oroville Mercury Register has more. We’ll be following this case closely.

Fraternity activities weren't hazing according to lawyer
By KAREN McINTYRE/MediaNews Group InternArticle Launched: 07/14/2007 12:00:00 AM PDT

Just days after three ex-fraternity members were charged with hazing violations, the lawyer for one of them says the case is being exaggerated and the men unfairly charged.

"Is this another Duke lacrosse case?" attorney Bill Mayo said.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey said that is not the case.

The defendants — Beta Theta Pi's president Christopher David Bizot, vice president Michael Francis Murphy and ritualist Matthew William Krupp — are being charged under Matt's Law, which was created in honor of Chico State University student Matthew Carrington, who died as a result of hazing in 2005.

Mayo, Bizot's attorney, said he believes the case is being overplayed. He thinks it's not fair for the district attorney to be "whipping up the emotions of the public" by sending out a press release before a record of the charges could be found online.

Charges had been filed and sometimes take a week to show up on the Internet, Ramsey said. But court clerks were unable to find evidence of the cases when requested by Mayo on Friday morning.

The reason court personnel were unable to find the records was because the paperwork was being processed at the court in Paradise, Ramsey said.

Mayo said he also thinks the men's rituals were not going to cause serious bodily injury. One of the activities included forcing pledges to sit in ice-water baths, but sports therapists do that on a regular basis.

The difference was that these men were forced to stay in the baths for extended periods of time while other pledges were being quizzed. The men had to sink lower in the water with each question their partners answered incorrectly, said Rick Rees, associate director of Student Activities at Chico State.

Mayo said the case is being exaggerated because of Matthew Carrington's death, even though this was different than the situation that occurred in 2005.

These activities went on outside during the daytime, not in a dark basement, and with a crowd of more than a dozen guys just having fun. Nobody was seriously injured.The activities were not hazing at all, he said.

Be sure to read the rest of the article for more complete information. If you've missed our previous coverage, you can read about it below.Oroville Mercury Register - Fraternity activities weren't hazing according to lawyer


Fratastic - Duke Lacrosse: The Sequel?