Pennsylvania authorities have charged five New York men with murder in the brutal hazing death of a college student in 2013. Investigators said 32 other suspects face less serious charges in the incident. The fraternity has also been charged with murder.

All of the men, who range in age from 22 to 26, have been charged with third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated and simple assault, hindering apprehension and hazing and conspiracy. Two of them face additional drug charges. Bail for four of the suspects was set at $500,000, and one received bail of $150,000.

Authorities said Pi Delta Psi fraternity members at Baruch College blindfolded a 19-year-old student, forced him to wear a heavy backpack and then repeatedly tackled him during a hazing ritual. The victim lost consciousness and was carried outside by fraternity members, who then searched the Internet for medical information to treat his symptoms. They allegedly waited an hour before taking him to the hospital. The victim died the following day from a brain injury.

Witnesses to the incident said the victim was the last of several fraternity pledges to be hazed that weekend. Authorities indicated he was treated more brutally than the others but have not given further details.

New York residents charged with violent crimes may face severe consequences if they are convicted. Typical sentences include lengthy prison terms and steep fines. However, a defendant may be able to successfully fight the allegations by retaining a criminal defense attorney. An attorney could carefully examine the evidence for details favorable to the defendant, which could lead to an acquittal or dismissal of charges. In some cases, they may also be able to negotiate with prosecutors for a reduction of charges.

Source: Web Link: ABC News, “5 Suspects Arraigned on Murder Charge in Frat Hazing Death,” Michael Rubinkam, Oct. 22, 2015

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