Family’s lawyer speaks out after hazing charges filed against two in MU freshman alcohol poisoning case
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Two men have been charged with hazing after a University of Missouri freshman was left disabled after drinking large amounts of liquor at a fraternity event.
A Boone County grand jury on Friday indicted Thomas Shultz of Chesterfield, Missouri, and Ryan Delanty of Ballwin, Missouri, each with hazing that endangered a life and supplying liquor to a minor. Shultz was also indicted on a felony count of tampering with evidence, according to court records. Shultz's indictment says he kept relevant text messages from investigators.
Delanty was the "pledge dad" of Danny Santulli, who was hospitalized in October with alcohol poisoning after a Phi Gamma Delta event, a lawyer representing Santulli's family in a civil case has said.
The attorney, David Bianchi, has said Santulli was left blind and unable to walk or communicate after the poisoning. Santulli was made to drink a bottle of vodka at the fraternity event and was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle after he became unresponsive.
"You cannot do these things. You cannot do these things and think you're gonna get away with it with no consequences, when you left an 18-year-old with massive brain damage, permanently blind, unable to walk or talk, and he will never get better," said Bianchi.
Bianchi and the Santulli family had pressured prosecutors to file hazing charges after a fraternity member was recently charged with supplying alcohol to a minor.
Bianchi said there are more people who were involved in this incident.
"Hopefully this is just the start of a whole series of indictments because many other people played a role in organizing this illegal event. Getting the alcohol to the house, setting it all up, telling the players what to do. All of that is part of the hazing process," said Bianchi.
Santulli has returned home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. His family recently did an interview with ABC News, which obtained surveillance video from the fraternity house the night of the party.
Ryan Delanty, Santullis' pledge dad, texted another person late on Oct. 19 that his son was "dead", according to court documents filed in the supplying alcohol to a minor case against Alec Wetzler. Police recommended charges in that case under Missouri's anti-hazing statute.
The University of Missouri stopped recognizing Phi Gamma Delta as a fraternity in October. The school proposed sanctions against more than a dozen students after it investigated the incident. The Phi Gamma Delta national organization also pulled the chapter from MU shortly after the incident.
The family has reached settlements with several fraternity members in its civil lawsuit.
Bond was set at $50,000 each. Neither Delanty or Shultz were listed as inmates on the Boone County Jail roster.
Check back for updates to this developing story.