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BGSU HAZING: 7 plead not guilty in Stone Foltz death

Published: May. 19, 2021 at 1:14 PM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 5:43 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - Seven people entered not guilty pleas in connection to the hazing death of BGSU student Stone Foltz on Wednesday. They are facing various charges ranging from first-degree felony manslaughter to reckless homicide to obstructing official business in connection to the incident on March 4.

The Wood County Prosecutor, Paul Dobson, said the hazing Foltz endured was an initiation in which “bigs” provided a fifth of liquor to “littles,” or new members, and instructed them to drink the entire bottle.

A roommate found Foltz unconscious at his apartment later that night and performed CPR before he was taken to the hospital. His blood alcohol content was nearly five times the legal limit, according to the Foltz family attorney, Rex Elliot. Foltz died on March 7th and became an organ donor.

20-year-old Jacob Krinn was Stone Foltz’s “big,” or mentor, through PIKE, according to court documents. He is facing the most serious charges including first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter, third-degree felony involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, felonious assault, hazing, failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, and obstructing official business. Prosecutors allege Krinn was directly involved in the hazing ritual, from the excessive drinking to dropping Foltz off at his apartment at the end of the night. Krinn pleaded not guilty to all charges. He received an “own recognizance” bond and is not allowed to be on BGSU property or consume any alcohol.

20-year-old Daylen Dunson was charged with third-degree felony involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, hazing, failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, and obstructing official business. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. He was also released on his own recognizance and is not allowed on BGSU property and cannot consume alcohol.

23-year-old Troy Henricksen is charged with third-degree felony involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, tampering with evidence, hazing, and failure to comply with underage alcohol laws. Henricksen pleaded not guilty to all charges and also received an “own recognizance” bond, requiring him to stay off-campus property and not consume any alcohol. His attorney, Eric Long, previously released the following statement:

“This is clearly a tragic matter; however, it is not being helped by the indictment of Troy Henricksen. The facts are clear, even at this early juncture that he is not criminally liable. I am confident that the court process will bear that out, hopefully, sooner rather than later.”

21-year-old Canyon Caldwell is charged with third-degree felony involuntary manslaughter, hazing, failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, and obstructing official business. He appeared virtually and pleaded not guilty to all charges. He was released on his own recognizance and cannot consume alcohol or be on campus property.

21-year-old Niall Sweeny is charged with third-degree felony involuntary manslaughter, hazing, failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, and obstructing official business. Sweeny pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on his own recognizance. He is not allowed on campus property and cannot consume alcohol.

21-year-old Aaron Lehane, who was not a BGSU student, is charged with tampering with evidence, hazing, failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, and obstructing official business. Lehane pleaded not guilty to all charges. He was also released on his own recognizance and cannot consume alcohol or be on campus property.

Sweeny and Lehane live together in Bowling Green. Part of the bond conditions requires the defendants to have no contact with one another. The judge said one of the two will have to find new living arrangements.

19-year-old Jarrett Prizel is charged with third-degree felony involuntary manslaughter, hazing, and failure to comply with underage alcohol laws. Prizel pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on his own recognizance. He’s not allowed to be on campus property or consume alcohol.

An eighth person was charged with several misdemeanors that have since been dismissed.

The Hazing, Underage Alcohol, and Obstruction charges are all misdemeanor offenses. According to the prosecutor’s office, charges of Hazing and Failure to Comply with Underage Alcohol Laws “reflect the allegation that those defendants participated in providing copious amounts of alcohol” to Stone and other pledges.

Charges of First Degree Felony Involuntary Manslaughter allege that the defendant caused a death by committing a felony and carries a penalty of up to 11 years in prison. Third Degree Felony Manslaughter alleges that the defendant caused a death by committing or attempting to commit a misdemeanor and carries up to three years in prison, as do the charges of Reckless Homicide, Tampering with Evidence, and Obstructing Justice.

The Wood County Prosecutor, Paul Dobson, said the local community is devastated by what happened.

“The issue is over the fact that this young man died at this event and how we respond to it,” said Dobson.

The Foltz family is working with BGSU to prevent this from happening again and is encouraging lawmakers to pass anti-hazing legislation called Collin’s Law, according to one of the attorneys for the family, Sean Alto. The legislation would increase legal penalties for hazing and boost transparency surrounding the issue at the university level.

“The Foltz family plan all along, or their goal, has been zero tolerance across the country -- not just here in Bowling Green, not just in Ohio, but all across the country. Until that’s done, they’re not going to rest,” said Alto. “Imagine what would’ve happened had this law been in place this year on March 4 when Stone Foltz passed away.”

Alto said the court proceedings are incredibly difficult for Stone’s parents.

“I think it’s going to continue to be that way and they’ll relive it every time they come into a courtroom,” said Alto. “There’s no way to really prepare someone to come face to face with the people responsible for your son’s death.”

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