UVA Chi Phi members get jail time for fraternity kidnap
Posted by: “Doug Case” firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ Â dougcasesdsu
Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:07 am (PDT)
Charlottesville Daily Progress
March 27, 2009
UVa students sent to jail after frat abduction â€˜tradition’
By Tasha Kates
A group of University of Virginia second-year students will serve jail time
in April for what their attorney said is a fraternity prank gone wrong.
Chase Wagner Whitlow, Gabriel Rust-Tierney, Jordan Vinsant Davis and Joseph
Uzcategui, all members of Chi Phi, pleaded guilty Thursday to disorderly
conduct as part of a plea agreement in Charlottesville General District
Court, according to Deputy Commonwealthâ€™s Attorney Claude Worrell. The four
men were sentenced to 90 days in jail, 86 of which were suspended.
In September, the then-19-year-old students were charged with abduction in
connection with an incident in April. According to authorities, four men
threw the victim into the back of a car in the university area and left him
in the road near a Crozet restaurant. The victim, who was not seriously
hurt, called police at the restaurant.
Worrell declined to comment on the nature of the offense. However, defense
attorney James E. â€œBudâ€ Treakle said Thurs-day that the four men were
taking part in a â€œfraternity traditionâ€ in which someone kidnaps an older
fraternity brother and drops him off somewhere, leaving him to find his way
home. The older fraternity member in this case didnâ€™t report it as a prank,
the lawyer said.
It was not clear if the four men were Chi Phi members at the time of the
incident, but Treakle confirmed that they are currently brothers in the
Treakle, who was hired by all four students, said the plea agreement was
â€œdamage controlâ€ in hopes of avoiding a felony trial. The attorney said he
thought the sentence was severe based on the facts of the case, which he
said police spent a substantial amount of time investigating.
Treakle said his clients spoke to police before going home for the summer
and were charged in September. The men spent the night in jail after their
arrest, and by their lawyerâ€™s calculations, have only one day left to serve.
Worrell said the students are expected to report to jail April 17. The
prosecutor did not confirm Treakleâ€™s calculations.
Â©2009 Media General Communications Holdings.