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Hazing News

25 years ago today (August 17) Michael Davis (Rest in Peace)

From the Southeast Missourian.

1994

A plea agreement is in the works for two of the defendants charged in the fraternity hazing death of fellow Southeast Missouri State University student Michael Davis; the two could get seven years in prison and $5,000 fines for involuntary manslaughter, but a deal being worked out by their attorney could eliminate their serving any time in a state penitentiary.

Excerpt from New York Times

Mr. Davis’s death has shocked the wholesome-looking campus of Southeast Missouri State University, led to the expulsion of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity chapter and the arrest of seven of its members on charges of involuntary manslaughter and hazing. On Friday, six more current or former fraternity members were charged with hazing, a misdemeanor under Missouri law.

The seven facing manslaughter charges are Carlos Turner, 19; Mikel Giles, 22; Isaac Sims 3d, 22; Cedric Murphy, 22; Vincent King, 20; Michael Williams, 19, and the chapter’s president, Laimmoire Taylor, 22.

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Physically, Mr. Davis would have been no match for the men charged in the case, two of whom were on the football team. His girlfriend said he weighed around 135 pounds, and a colleague on the school newspaper, Chuck Miller, described him as a “quiet, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly individual.” Community Service Group

The fraternity members are described in terms that would easily serve for the rest of the student population: some are said to be “middle class,” “clean cut,” or “suburb kids,” as Waymon Campbell, a 23-year-old junior, put it.

“It was the last thing you would expect out of that group,” Mr. Campbell said. “They just seemed more into other things than pledging. Being that way, well-dressed and well-mannered, you wouldn’t expect that kind of barbaric behavior.”

The group was known for its community service, said Derek Hudson, the former president of the student government association and a member of another fraternity. “They were into buying coats for the homeless at Christmas,” Mr. Campbell said. They even sponsored a drive to buy turkeys for needy families.

The college’s football coach, John Mumford,said, “They’re good kids or I would not have them in my program.” ‘Affable People’

 

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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