8 People Arrested In Connection To The Death Of 19-Year-Old Student At Fraternity Initiation
Following the death of a 19-year-old student at a fraternity initiation, eight people have been arrested.
The students attended the Virginia Commonwealth University and were arrested on misdemeanour charges earlier this year.
The student who died has been named as Adam Oakes by the Richmond Police Department. They also expect three other people to turn themselves in, in relation to Oakes’ death.
Oakes was found dead on February 27 this year, at a residence located off-campus. According to his parents he had been going to a party to start his initiation into the fraternity group named Delta Chi.
On Friday, September 24, Virginia Commonwealth University Police took seven of the eight people who were arrested into custody, CNN reports. Those arrested were all between the ages of 19 and 22.
The Richmond Medical Examiner’s Office concluded in May that Oakes’ cause of death was either ethanol toxicity or alcohol poisoning.
The eight arrested were charged with misdemeanour unlawful hazing. Richmond police stated that three of them were also charged with giving alcohol to a minor and misdemeanour buying.
This morning, September 27, the seven in custody were expected to appear in court, after being held without bond. The eighth member of the group was released on Friday, on bond, by Virginia State Police in Prince William County.
Three other people are thought to be involved in Oakes’ death and Richmond police have predicted that they will turn themselves in ‘within the coming days’.
On Friday, Oakes’ cousin, Courtney White, told CNN affiliate WBBT they had cried upon first hearing about the arrests. ‘It was like that first glimmer of hope in seven months,’ they said.
The fraternity group was subsequently suspended by the Virginia Commonwealth University. On June 3, the group was permanently banned by the school.
The school stated:
VCU’s Student Organization Conduct Committee Chairs (SOCC) reviewed the report of the organization’s alleged misconduct. Based on the information provided, the Delta Chi fraternity chapter at VCU was found responsible for charges referred to the SOCC.
Therefore, effective May 28, the Delta Chi fraternity has permanently lost university recognition, meaning it is no longer authorized to operate as a student organization at VCU.
In August, it was announced that all Greek campus life would be reviewed and that, during the 2021-22 academic year, no new members would not be allowed to join any of its organisations.
The school also announced last month that all official functions organised by students and involving undergraduates would be banned from having any alcohol at them.
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