BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG/FOX19) - Several individuals are now facing indictments in the death of Bowling Green State University sophomore Stone Foltz back in March. According to the Wood County Prosecutor, at least eight people now face charges ranging from first-degree felony manslaughter to reckless homicide and hazing to obstructing official business, but prosecutor Paul Dodson said that other charges could still come as a result of the investigation.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday afternoon, Dodson described the events leading up to Stone’s death as a new member initiation where mentors -- or Bigs -- are revealed to new members -- or Littles. Littles, who were almost all underage, were then allegedly given a 750ml -- often referred to as a fifth -- of high alcohol content liquor and instructed to drink the entire thing at the event. Stone allegedly consumed all, or nearly all, of his bottle.
Prosecutors further allege that three people -- including Jacob Krinn, who was identified as Stone’s alleged Big -- drove him back to his apartment and dropped him off. He was later found by his roommate and other friends who called 911. When EMS arrived, the roommate was performing CPR. Stone was taken to Wood County Hospital and later Toledo Hospital where he died on March 7. Post-mortem blood analysis revealed that Stone’s blood-alcohol level was nearly five times the legal limit.
According to Dodson, Krinn was more directly involved in the incident from beginning to end than the other seven people indicted. As a result, his charges are more severe, including First Degree Felony Manslaughter and Felonious Assault. Seven of the indicted defendants were confirmed to be BGSU students, though whether they were involved in the fraternity itself has not been confirmed.
Dodson stressed that these indictments were only the beginning of criminal proceedings in the case and said there is still more evidence to obtain and review. He said that his office does not believe this was a party where hazing occurred but that hazing was “an integral part of this event.” He also stated that the defendants could face further charges.
Speaking to others who may have been in attendance at the event or who may have information, Dodson warned, “If you do not even attempt to be part of the solution, you may well be identified as part of the problem and we will respond to that.”
“We are grateful for all of the hard work conducted by local law enforcement and the Prosecutor’s office, and we are confident they will make sure justice is served,” said Rex Elliott and Sean Alto, lawyer’s for the Foltz family. “However, today is just one step in the right direction. Swift action also needs to be taken by government officials and university presidents nationwide to abolish fraternity hazing. We are living every parent’s worst nightmare and will not be at peace until fraternity hazing is seen for what it truly is — abuse. It’s unacceptable, and in Stone’s case, it was fatal. How many injuries and deaths will it take for people in positions of power to do the right thing? We demand zero tolerance. Anything less will result in additional innocent lives lost and parents like us pleading for change.”
BGSU spokesperson Alex Solis said in a statement that “Bowling Green State University is appreciative of the hard work and diligence done by the prosecutor and a grand jury to seek justice and hold those accountable in the tragic death of student Stone Foltz.” He then referred all additional questions regarding the case to the prosecutor’s office.
BGSU has since upheld six code of conduct charges against the fraternity and has permanently banned them from campus.
The complete charges are as follows:
Jacob Krinn, 20, of Delaware, Ohio: First Degree Felony Involuntary Manslaughter, Third Degree Felony Involuntary Manslaughter, Reckless Homicide, Felonious Assault, Hazing, Failure to Comply with Underage Alcohol Laws, Obstructing Official Business.
Daylen Dunson, 20, Cleveland: Third Degree Felony Involuntary Manslaughter, Tampering with Evidence, Obstructing Justice, Hazing, Failure to Comply with Underage Alcohol Laws, Obstructing Official Business.
Troy Henricksen, 23, Grove City, Ohio: Third Degree Felony Involuntary Manslaughter, Reckless Homicide, Tampering with Evidence, Hazing, Failure to Comply with Underage Alcohol Laws.
Canyon Caldwell, 21, Dublin, Ohio: Third Degree Felony Involuntary Manslaughter, Tampering with Evidence, Hazing, Failure to Comply with Underage Alcohol Laws, Obstructing Official Business.
Niall Sweeney, 21, Erie, Pennsylvania: Third Degree Felony Involuntary Manslaughter, Hazing, Failure to Comply with Underage Alcohol Laws, Obstructing Official Business.
Jared Prizel, 19, Olean, New York: Third Degree Felony Involuntary Manslaughter, Hazing, Failure to Comply with Underage Alcohol Laws.
Aaron Lehane, 21, Loveland, Ohio: Tampering with Evidence, Hazing, Failure to Comply with Underage Alcohol Laws, Obstructing Official Business.
The Wood County Prosecutor says Lehane was not currently enrolled at BGSU but had been previously.
Benjamin Boyers, 21, Sylvania, Ohio: Hazing, Failure to Comply with Underage Alcohol Laws. The misdemeanor charges against Mr. Boyers are being dismissed at this time.
The Hazing, Underage Alcohol, and Obstruction charges are all misdemeanor offenses. According to the prosecutor’s office, charges of Hazing and Failure to Comply with Underage Alcohol Laws “reflect the allegation that those defendants participated in providing copious amounts of alcohol” to Stone and other pledges.
Charges of First Degree Felony Involuntary Manslaughter allege that the defendant caused a death by committing a felony and carries a penalty of up to 11 years in prison. Third Degree Felony Manslaughter alleges that the defendant caused a death by committing or attempting to commit a misdemeanor and carries up to three years in prison, as do the charges of Reckless Homicide, Tampering with Evidence, and Obstructing Justice.
The defendants have all been issued summons to appear in court in Wood County on May 19 at 1 PM.
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