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Defendant in Phi Gamma Delta hazing case seeks January trial date


The lawyer for one of the men charged in a hazing case tied to a former University of Missouri fraternity is asking for the court to set a trial date.

Christopher Slusher, who represents former Phi Gamma Delta fraternity member Benjamin Parres, asked the court to plan for a January trial. Parres is charged with felony hazing after Santulli was left with serious injuries during an October 2021 party at the fraternity house.

Santulli was left with severe brain damage and the fraternity was kicked off campus. Santulli's family alleged in a lawsuit against several fraternity members that he was forced to drink large amounts of hard liquor and not given immediate medical attention when he was unresponsive.

The family has settled that lawsuit.

Another defendant in the case, Benjamin Karl, is also set to go to trial but a date has not been set. Karl is do back in court July 17th at 10 a.m.

Three defendants have taken plea deals in the case.

In April, Thomas Shultz, of Chesterfield pleaded guilty to supply alcohol to a minor. He was sentenced to a year probation, along with 30 days jail time and 100 hours of community service. If he violates his probation he will spent a year in jail.

Another fraternity member, Alec Wetzler, of St. Louis pleaded guilty to supply liquor to a minor and buying liquor as a minor, which are both misdemeanors. A sentencing hearing is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 6.

Harrison Reichman, a third Fiji member of Minnesota took a guilty plea of supplying alcohol to a minor. Reichman was sentenced to 15 days in jail, 100 hours of community service and two years unsupervised probation.

Samuel Morrison and Ryan Delanty and Samuel Lane are all charged with hazing-life endangerment.

Morrison has a pre-trial conference scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11 and the jury trial is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Delanty and Lane are schedule to go to trial in December.

Two other men are also charged in the incident and are due in court in June.

ABC 17 News reached out to David Bianchi, who represented the Santulli family for his thoughts about where the cases currently stand.

In a statement Bianchi said, "Everyone impacted by the hazing of Danny Santulli is following the criminal cases carefully. It is important that Missouri’s hazing laws be enforced and we are seeing that happen now. We hope that the criminal charges will send a strong message to the fraternities and sororities that you cannot haze pledges and, if you do, there will be consequences that will follow you for the rest of your life.  Don’t do it. It’s simply not worth it. Ask anyone who just plead guilty."

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Erika McGuire

Erika McGuire originally comes from Detriot. She is a reporter and weekend anchor on ABC 17 News.


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