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Sylvania native pleads not guilty to felony charges in Stone Foltz hazing death

Benjamin Boyers faces two felony counts as well as 15 misdemeanors.
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 11:47 AM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - A 22-year-old Sylvania resident pleaded not guilty on Friday to felony charges in the hazing death of Bowling Green Stage University sophomore Stone Foltz. Benjamin Boyers appeared for the first time on charges that were levied in August after previous misdemeanor charges were dropped by the Wood County Prosecutor’s office. Boyers is one of eight young men facing charges ranging from manslaughter to misdemeanor hazing following Foltz’s death.

Boyers was ordered to have no contact with Foltz’s family or the other defendants, and is not allowed at BGSU or permitted to consume alcohol. He is allowed to travel to Michigan for work and school. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for October 22, but Boyers is not required to be present.

In August, the prosecutor’s office announced that further investigation into the incident in March resulted in his office re-introducing harsher charges against Boyers to the Wood County Grand Jury. Boyers is charged with third-degree Felony Manslaughter, third-degree felony Tampering with Evidence, eight counts of misdemeanor hazing, and seven counts of failure to comply with underage alcohol laws. The felony counts each carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison while the misdemeanor charges carry between 30 days and six months.

Stone Foltz died on March 7, three days after he was found unresponsive in his apartment. According to the Wood County Prosecutor’s office, Foltz had attended an event hosted by the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in which he was encouraged to drink an entire bottle of alcohol. A post-mortem analysis found that Foltz’s blood-alcohol level was nearly five times the legal limit.

As a result of Foltz’s death, Bowling Green State University permanently banned the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity from campus, and 21 students were recently hit with conduct violations, including the expulsion of three of those students.

Further, the state of Ohio adopted harsher anti-hazing laws.

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