Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Two sentenced to 4 days in jail for hazing

In all, 4 members of SAE at the University of Texas at Austin will have criminal records. Note that "failure to report hazing" is an offence in Texas.
Two former "pledge trainers" at a University of Texas fraternity — one who was accused of touching a hot clothes iron to pledges' faces and another accused of shocking his prospective fraternity brothers with a cattle prod — will spend four days in jail after pleading no contest Monday to hazing and furnishing alcohol to minors.

Will Evans and Austin Sherrill, both 23, were sentenced to two years deferred adjudication, a form of probation. Along with the jail time, Evans is required to complete 180 hours of community service and Sherrill 100 hours.

The former president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon's UT chapter, Chase Bolding, 23, also pleaded no contest to the charges and received one year of deferred adjudication. Bolding, who admitted in court to shocking pledges with a cattle prod and other abusive behavior, must perform 100 hours of community service.

A fourth member of the fraternity, Jimmy Berry, 23, pleaded no contest to failure to report hazing, the first use of such a charge in a hazing case, (emphasis added, ed.) said Travis County Attorney David Escamilla. Berry received one year deferred adjudication.

The investigation of the fraternity began after 18-year-old pledge Tyler Cross fell to his death from a fifth-floor balcony of an off-campus dormitory in November 2006. None of the charges related directly to Cross' death, although some of the hazing the men admitted to happened the night before Cross was found dead.
According to Dan McVeigh, District Governor for North Texas "My daughter that attended UT knew the older brothers of two of the young men convicted. One of the young men was expelled from UT with only eight hours to graduate. He will not be allowed to return to UT and UT will not transfer his credits."

You have to wonder, though, if the sentences were sufficient to make an impression...
Each defendant declined to comment outside court, as did all of their lawyers except Allan Williams, who represents Berry. "We are glad this is finally over with and they can get on with their professional lives," he said. Berry works in investment banking in New York, Williams said.
Two sentenced to 4 days in jail for hazing