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9 people indicted in alleged hazing death of 18-year-old Ohio University student Collin Wiant

November 19, 2019 - 6:25 pm

Google Street View(ATHENS, OH) -- Nine people were indicted on a range of charges related to the alleged hazing death of an 18-year-old Ohio University student, officials announced.

An Athens County grand jury handed down the indictments Monday, just over a year after Collin Wiant 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 a statement from the Athens County prosecuting attorney.

The individuals indicted include: Joshua Thomas Androsac, 20; Saxon Angell-Perez; Dominic A. Figliola; Corbin Michael Gustafson, 22; Zachary Herskovitz, 22; Cullen Willi McLaughlin, 20; Elijah Robert Wahib, 22; James Dylan Wanke, 25; and Stephan Brent Lewis, 27.

It was not immediately clear if any had yet retained legal representation.

On Tuesday, an attorney for Wiant's family said the indictments marked "a very important day."

"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," 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."

Wiant was a freshman at the university and had been selected as a pledge two months before he died, according to a wrongful death suit filed by his family in February against the fraternity and 10 unnamed individuals.

The teenager died inside a Sigma Pi Epsilon annex house in Athens, Ohio, where he was allegedly beaten with a belt, pelted with eggs, deprived of sleep and forced to take drugs and drink a gallon of alcohol in an hour, the lawsuit alleged.

Since Wiant's death, and amid new reports of hazing, the university announced in October it had suspended all 15 of its Interfraternity Council fraternity chapters.

The full list of charges are as follows:

Joshua Thomas Androsac: one count of permitting drug abuse, a felony of the fifth degree; one count of hazing, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; one count of involuntary manslaughter, a felony of the first degree; two counts of trafficking in harmful intoxicants, felonies of the fifth degree; and trafficking in cocaine, a felony of the fifth degree

Saxon Angell-Perez: one count of permitting drug abuse, a felony of the fifth degree; one count of hazing, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; and one count of trafficking in cocaine, a felony of the fifth degree

Dominic A. Figliola: one count of permitting drug abuse, a felony of the fifth degree; one count of hazing, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fourth degree; and one count of failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, an unclassified misdemeanor

Corbin Michael Gustafson: one count of reckless Homicide, a felony of the third degree

Zachary Herskovitz: one count of permitting drug abuse, a felony of the fifth degree; one count of hazing, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree

Cullen Willi McLaughlin: two counts of trafficking in LSD, felonies of the fifth degree

Elijah Robert Wahib: one count of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree; permitting drug abuse, a felony of the fifth degree; one count of hazing, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; one count of assault, a misdemeanor of the first degree; one count of obstructing justice, a felony of the fifth degree; and one count of failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, an unspecified misdemeanor

James Dylan Wanke: one count of involuntary manslaughter, a felony of the first degree; two counts of trafficking in harmful intoxicants, felonies of the fifth degree; one count of involuntary manslaughter, a felony of the third degree; and one count of improperly dispensing or distributing nitrous oxide, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree

Stephan Brent Lewis: one count of trafficking in harmful intoxicants, a felony of the fifth degree; and one count of improperly dispensing or distributing nitrous oxide, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree

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