Five former fraternity brothers at Bowling Green State University were sentenced Thursday for their roles in the 2021 hazing death of 20-year-old sophomore student Stone Foltz.
Three of the students were sentenced to serve short stints in jail, while two others were ordered to serve house arrest.
Foltz Died of 'Alcohol Poisoning' After Drinking Entire Bottle of Liquor
Foltz was hospitalized in March 2021 after taking 40 shots of alcohol as part of a hazing ritual to become a pledge of an international fraternity called Pi Kappa Alpha or PIKE in an off-campus event, as previously reported.
Prosecutors said that the event which led to Foltz's death was a "new member initiation process" for Pi Kappa Alpha's Bowling Green chapter in which the new members, also called "little brothers," were introduced to mentors known as "big brothers."
The hazing ritual reportedly required Foltz to drink an entire handle of alcohol, which is a 1.75 litre bottle or 40 shots, within a stipulated time. Following the ritual, Foltz was dropped off at his apartment in an extremely inebriated and sick condition. His roommate found him to be in critical health and called 911. Foltz died three days after he was put on life support.
Foltz allegedly drank "all or nearly all of the contents of his bottle," Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dodson said.
Accused Pleaded Guilty to Charges
Daylen Dunson, 22, of Cleveland, Jarrett Prizel, 20, of Olean, New York, and Benjamin Boyers, 21, of Sylvania, Ohio, all previously pleaded guilty to one count each of reckless homicide and hazing. Additionally, Boyers pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice, while Dunson pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence
Dunson was the fraternity chapter president, Prizel was the fraternity's assistant educator for new members, and Boyers was the sergeant-at-arms.
Records show that Niall Sweeney, 21, of Erie, Pennsylvania, and Aaron Lehane, 21, of Loveland, Ohio, both pleaded guilty to one count each of tampering with evidence and hazing. Sweeney, the fraternity's vice president, Lehane, and Boyers all lived at the house where the initiation event took place.
Wood County Common Pleas Court Judge Joel M. Kuhlman sentenced Prizel to serve 28 days in jail, Dunson to serve 21 days in jail, and Sweeney to serve 14 days in jail. All three were also ordered to serve an additional 28 days of house arrest and two to three years of probation. Boyers and Lehane were both ordered to serve 28 days of house arrest and two years of probation.
'I Will Forgive But I Will Never Forget'
Sentencing is pending for three other former fraternity members. Foltz's mother addressed the court in an emotional statement during Thursday's proceedings. "Someone died and he was my son. His name was Stone," Shari Foltz said. "Our lives are forever changed and will never be the same." "I forgive but I will never forget," she added.
Following the sentencing, Shari and Stone's father, Cory Foltz, said that "there will be no closure for our family until hazing is permanently eradicated on college campuses."