Trial begins for final two defendants in Stone Foltz hazing death

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 11:50 AM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - The trial for two of several men who faced charges connected to the hazing death of a Bowling Green State University student is underway.

Jacob Krinn and Troy Henricksen are facing criminal charges for their role in the hazing death of Stone Foltz, 20, at an off-campus fraternity event in March 2021.

Krinn is facing a series of charges including two counts of involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, felonious assault, obstructing official business, hazing, and underage alcohol laws. Henricksen is facing charges including involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, tampering with evidence, hazing, and underage alcohol laws.

What compelled Foltz to drink what turned out to be a deadly amount of alcohol?

The prosecution and defense began presenting their sides Tuesday in the alleged hazing death as a Wood County jury was seated and began hearing testimony.

Defense lawyers says no one poured liquor down the throat of Foltz, no one explicitly told him to drink what became a deadly dose. Prosecutors says all of that was implied through power.

It all happened in March of 2021, Foltz and other Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity pledges attended the Big/Little new member event. They were asked to consume a bottle of liquor. Foltz’s bottle was a liter of Evan Williams bourbon.

It was the “family bottle” meaning it was the same one his big brother Krinn consumed when he pledged.

Foltz was taken back to his apartment that evening after drinking the bottle, 911 was called shortly after and he died a few days later. Prosecutors said Foltz’s blood alcohol level was .35 according to testing.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that those pledges knew what it would take to be in the fraternity.

Defense lawyers for both Krinn and Henricksen, the new member educator, said at no point was Foltz forced to drink the alcohol. They’re both charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide among other charges.

Their lawyers saying to the jury it was Foltz’s choice to drink that night. In fact they mention one pledge did not want to drink because of a court screening the next day and he was allowed not to drink.

Prosecutors contend today those pledges were vulnerable that night.

“What I’m going to prove to you, what is critical, is that is as far as the tradition went. What the little did with his bottle of liquor was his choice and nobody else’s,” said Krinn’s attorney Sam Shamansky.

That’s how the trial started for these 15 jurors seated Tuesday afternoon. Court will resume Wednesday morning with the first round of witnesses.

Several other men who faced charges connected to Foltz’s death already took plea deals.

Niall Sweeny pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and misdemeanor hazing.

Aaron Lehane pleaded guilty to hazing, tampering with evidence, and obstructing official business.

Canyon Caldwell pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and eight counts of misdemeanor hazing. All other charges, including involuntary manslaughter, were dismissed.

Jarett Prizel pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and eight counts of misdemeanor hazing. The reckless homicide charge had been amended from involuntary manslaughter.

Benjamin Boyers pleaded guilty to reckless homicide, obstructing official business, and 8 counts of hazing.

Daylen Dunson pleaded guilty to reckless homicide, eight counts of misdemeanor hazing, obstructing justice, obstructing official business, tampering with evidence, and seven counts regarding providing alcohol to those who are underage.

BGSU expelled the frat after the incident. Ohio lawmakers have also passed anti-hazing legislation since Foltz’s death. Hazing is now considered a felony in Ohio.

Defendants charged in connection to the hazing death of BGSU student Stone Foltz make their...
Defendants charged in connection to the hazing death of BGSU student Stone Foltz make their first court appearance on Wednesday, May 19.(WTVG)

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