Hazing News

Families of Virginia State “Men of Honor” victims file lawsuit

Here is the link to Richmond Times Dispatch and a brief excerpt:


The families of two Virginia State University students who drowned during their initiation into a fraternal group two years ago have filed twin $25 million wrongful death suits against the state of Virginia and the four men recently convicted in their deaths.

The mothers of Jauwan Holmes and Marvell Edmondson, who were swept away on April 20, 2013, while trying to cross the Appomattox River, are each seeking $25 million in compensatory damages against the state, claiming VSU was grossly negligent in its duty to protect the students from harm.

Also named as defendants are James A. Mackey Sr., 37; Charles E. Zollicoffer II, 30; Eriq K. Benson, 20; and Cory D. Baytop, 27, all of whom pleaded guilty or no contest Feb. 12 to hazing and involuntary manslaughter charges. The four were sentenced to varying jail terms, ranging from five to 14 months.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; 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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