Four men are charged with the hazing death of a Chico State University fraternity pledge in Oroville, California. The 4 men forced pledge Matthew Carrington to drink large amounts of water while doing calisthenics in the frigid basement of the fraternity house. Carrington collapsed and died from a heart attack brought on by water intoxication. The lawyers argued that the hazing charges, which carry a maximum 4 year sentence, should be dropped because of a tecnicality. The law is written to punish hazers of college and university "official student organizations", which the Chi Tau house was not. The lawyers argued that the 4 could not be prosecuted under that statute. The lawyers also argued that two of the men charged were not even Chico State students at the time.
So, the judge said, Hey, you might be right. How about I charge them with torture, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison? No comment from the lawyers.
TAGS: hazing, Chico State, lawyers, torture