An Ohio grand jury indicted nine people in Athens county for their alleged involvement in the hazing death of an Ohio University student.
Collin Wiant, 18, died of asphyxiation from nitrous oxide ingestion on Nov. 12, 2018.
The charges include hazing, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, trafficking and tampering with evidence, according to ABC News.
Joshua Thomas Androsac, Saxon Angell-Perez, Dominic A. Figliola, Corbin Michael Gustafson, Zachary Herskovitz, Cullen Willi McLaughlin, Elijah Robert Wahib, James Dylan Wanke and Stephan Brent Lewis were all charged.
“Without severe consequences, there will not be change and lives will continue to be lost. … The criminal justice system needs to send a message and we believe that’s exactly what the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office is doing,” Wiant’s family’s attorney, Rex Elliot, said in a statement to ABC News. “Our goal is to eliminate hazing in its entirety so that no other mother and father have to lose a child.”
According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family in February, Wiant was a freshman pledge of the Sigma Pi Epsilon fraternity who was forced forced to take drugs and drink a gallon of alcohol in an hour, allegedly beaten with a belt, pelted with eggs and deprived of sleep before his death at a fraternity house.
Seven of the individuals indicted were members of Sigma Pi Epsilon.
After Wiant’s death and new hazing allegations, Ohio University suspended all 15 fraternities on campus in October 2019.
“We know this is an important day in the process of making change, to change behavior and make sure this doesn’t happen to any other families,” Kathleen Wiant, Colin’s mother, told the Columbus Dispatch Tuesday. “We’re out to save lives and to do that we need to make sure that we bring justice ... but especially today we understand that there are no winners, and that is heavy on our hearts.”
Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said those indicted would be afforded the opportunity to turn themselves in before arrest warrants were issued.