Eight people have been indicted in the alleged fraternity hazing death of Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz, with one person facing a first-degree manslaughter charge, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Foltz, a 20-year-old sophomore, died March 7 after a Pi Kappa Alpha event on March 4 at the university in Bowling Green, Ohio, about 20 miles south of Toledo.
Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson said eight men, ranging in age from 19 to 23, were indicted Wednesday.
They are: Jacob Krinn, 20, of Delaware, Ohio; Daylen Dunson, 20, of Cleveland, Ohio; Troy Henricksen, 23, of Grove City, Ohio; Canyon Caldwell, 21 of Dublin, Ohio; Niall Sweeney, 21, of Erie, Pennsylvania; Jarrett Prizel, 19, of Olean, New York; Benjamin Boyers, 21, of Sylvania, Ohio; and Aaron Lehane, 21, of Loveland, Ohio.
All of them are BGSU students, except for Lehane, who is not "currently enrolled at BGSU," Dobson said.
Krinn faces the highest charge of first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter. Dobson said in a press conference Thursday that Krinn was Foltz's “big brother" in the fraternity and took him home after the event and left him alone.
The first-degree involuntary manslaughter charge alleges a defendant caused death by committing or attempting to commit a felony and carries a maximum penalty of 11 years in prison, the Wood County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.
Most of the defendants were charged with third-degree felony involuntary manslaughter and multiple misdemeanor counts of hazing, failure to comply with underage alcohol laws and obstructing official business.
A lawyer for Henricksen said, “This is clearly a tragic matter; however, it is not being helped by the indictment of Troy Henricksen. The facts are clear, even at this early juncture that he is not criminally liable. I am confident that the court process will bear that out, hopefully sooner rather than later,” according to WCMH.
Lehane and Boyers were not charged with manslaughter, and the charges against Boyers, who faces just two misdemeanor charges, will be dismissed "for the time being" while prosecutors focus on the felonies, Dobson said.
Lawyers for the others could not be immediately identified.
The Wood County Prosecuting Attorney's office said Foltz and other new members of the fraternity were required to attend a fraternity event on March 4 at an off-campus house. Foltz was later found unresponsive in his apartment by a roommate. When paramedics arrived, he was not breathing and was being given CPR by his roommate.
Dobson said Foltz was found with a blood alcohol content level of .35 -- over four times the legal limit.
He was hospitalized and died three days later.
The Lucas County Coroner ruled Foltz’s death an accident and said he died of “fatal ethanol intoxication.”
"The result of this event was catastrophic. And I want to say this to the people at the event, if you did not even attempt to be part of the solution, you may well be identified as part of the problem, and we will respond to that," Dobson said Thursday.
Attorneys Rex Elliott and Sean Alto, who represent the Foltz family, shared a statement following news of the indictments.
"We are grateful for all of the hard work conducted by local law enforcement and the prosecutor's office, and we are confident they will make sure justice is served. However, today is just one step in the right direction. Swift action also needs to be taken by government officials and university presidents nationwide to abolish fraternity hazing," the statement said.
"We are living every parent's worst nightmare and will not be at peace until fraternity hazing is seen for what it truly is -- abuse. It's unacceptable, and in Stone's case, it was fatal," the statement continued.
Bowling Green State University permanently expelled the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity earlier this month.