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Charges filed against eight men allegedly involved in University of Missouri hazing case

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Eight more people are now charged in connection with a suspected hazing incident at a University of Missouri fraternity.

This brings the total number of people charged in the hazing case to 11.

Danny Santulli suffered serious brain injuries during a pledge party last fall that left him unable to work or communicate.

Santulli's family later sued the fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) and some of its members.

A Boone County prosecutor has charged the eight men with hazing - life endangerment. The men were charged via a summons, meaning they'll just have to show up for their listed court date and no arrests are required.

The men charged include Samuel Lane, Samuel Morrison, Harrison Reichman, Blake Morsovillo, Benjamin Parres, Benjamin Karl, Samuel Gandhi and John O’Neill.

Key members in the fraternity charged include

  • Chapter President - Samuel Lane
  • Pledge Educator - Benjamin Parres
  • Historian - Blake Morsovillo
  • House Dad or Live-in Supervisor - John 'Jack' O'Neill

All of them except Sam Lane do not have a defense attorney listed online and they will all be arraigned on August 25. Lane's defense attorney is William Tackett. Lane entered a not guilty plea.

Thomas A. Shultz and Ryan P. Delanty were both charged with hazing prior to these charges. Alec Wetzler is also charged with providing alcohol to a minor.

David Bianchi, the Santulli families lawyer, said "We now have all of the significant players charged, and that's a good thing, and the families are very grateful for that."

The charges come after the MU Police Department obtained video surveillance from inside of the fraternity, text messages, and group chat messages according to court documents.

Bianchi said the family is "very impressed with the investigation done by the University of Missouri police department, they did a very thorough investigation and they should be commended for that."

Hundreds of students gathered outside the fraternity house in protest in October when the news of Santulli's poisoning became public. The national fraternity and MU withdrew recognition of the fraternity chapter shortly thereafter.

David Bianchi, and lawyers for the original 23 defendants reached settlements last month. At that time, Bianchi said Santulli had accumulated more than $1.6 million in medical bills.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

Karl Wehmhoener

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