COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Two years after an alleged hazing incident at a University of Missouri fraternity left a Phi Gamma Delta pledge disabled, a grand jury has filed a new charge against one of the former members.
Ryan Delanty has been charged with second-degree assault, adding to his previous charges of felony hazing and supplying liquor to a minor, according to a superseding indictment filed on Friday. Second-degree assault is a Class D felony that carries a possible seven-year prison sentence.
Delanty was the "pledge dad" of Danny Santulli when he became unresponsive after drinking at an October 2021 Phi Gamma Delta fraternity party. Court documents state that Delanty allegedly "recklessly caused serious physical injury" to Santulli by giving him alcohol and encouraging him to drink it.
"Delanty is at much greater risk because now he's facing two felony charges, not just one plus the misdemeanor charge. So if he was convicted on all three of these charges, he could go to jail for a longer period of time," Santulli's family lawyer, David Bianchi said.
Court documents filed in criminal cases and a Santulli family lawsuit say Santulli was forced to drink a bottle of vodka before he became unresponsive.
Delanty was originally charged by a grand jury in June 2022 along with Thomas Shultz. Since then nine other men were charged with hazing.
Santulli was left disabled following an alleged hazing incident at Phi Gamma Delta in 2021. Santulli was left unable to walk, talk or see after suffering a traumatic brain injury that night.
An arraignment is set for Nov. 6 for the superseding indictment. According to online court records his trial date is still set for Dec. 5.
A number of accused fraternity members have taken plea deals:
- Harrison Reichman, 21, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty to giving alcohol to a minor. He was initially charged with hazing – life endangerment. He was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation, along with 100 hours of community services and 15 days of shock jail time.
- Thomas A. Shultz, of Chesterfield, Missouri, pleaded guilty to supplying alcohol to a minor. He was sentenced to a year of probation and 30 days of shock jail time.
- Samuel Gandhi, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty to supplying alcohol to a minor, a misdemeanor He was originally charged with felony hazing. He was sentenced to 15 days of shock time in the county jail, two years of probation and 100 hours of community service. He will also have to complete a court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment program.
- Alec Bradley Wetzler, 21, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty in April to supplying liquor to a minor and buying liquor as a minor, both misdemeanors. He was sentenced earlier this month to to two years of probation, with a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail. He was also ordered to two days of shock jail time.
- Samuel Morrison, 23, of Cameron, pleaded guilty on Sept. 1 to supplying alcohol to a minor. He was initially charged with felony hazing. Morrison was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation with a one-year suspended sentenced. He was also ordered to two days of shock jail time and will have to complete 100 hours of community service.
- Blake Morsovillo, of Springfield, Missouri, pleaded guilty in court to supplying alcohol to a minor, a misdemeanor. He was previously charged with felony hazing. He was sentenced to serve two years of unsupervised probation and two days of shock jail time, which will begin Saturday, Oct. 28. He will also have to complete an alcohol and drug program and do 100 hours of community service.
Other Fiji members are expected to go to trial:
- Benjamin Parres, 21, of Chesterfield has a pretrial conference set for 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 8. A jury trial is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23. He is charged with felony hazing.
- Benjamin Karl, 21, of Columbia, was charged with felony hazing. A jury will be pooled from Warren County. A pretrial conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 4. A three-day jury trial is set to begin 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9.