Hazing News

Lex 18 Update for Eastern Kentucky University, Kappa Alpha Psi men get home detention

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A plea agreement was reached Monday for three men accused in a hazing incident for a fraternity at EKU last year.

Alonzo McGill, 31, Thomas Barnes, 21, and Gabriel McLaren, 22, were all charged with fourth-degree assault after fraternity pledge Brent Whiteside was severely injured and hospitalized with renal failure in March. Police say Whiteside told them he was beaten with a paddle, cane and fists while pledging for EKU’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi from January to March.

With the plea deal, all three defendants pleaded guilty to the fourth-degree assault charges, and all were sentenced to home incarceration rather than jail time. McClaren will serve 100 days, McGill 70 and Barnes 40. At the end of 2009, all three can ask for the charges to be dropped against them and their records cleared.

Whiteside said Monday that he accepts the plea deals, but also said that he would have rather the trio serve some of their sentences in jail.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska 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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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