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Delaware death case closing arguments TODAY with Sigma Alpha Mu’s Matthew Siracusa and Jesse Aaron on trial

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Excerpt: Brett Griffin, 18, of Kendall Park, N.J., died of alcohol poisoning early on Nov. 8, 2008. Witnesses testified that it was a tradition at the fraternity that pledges were supposed to consume an entire bottle of liquor at the “Big Brother” party. A medical expert testified that Griffin had the equivalent of a full 750ml bottle of Southern Comfort in his system when he died.

Timothy and Julie Griffin filed a hazing and wrongful death suit against the national fraternity and several fraternity brothers in 2009. All but former chapter president Aaron and former pledge master Matthew Siracusa either settled with the family or were dropped from the case before trial.

Siracusa rested his defense Wednesday without calling any witnesses.

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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