Stone Foltz’s mother recounts last conversation before deadly fraternity drinking event
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - Stone Foltz mother never imagined her son’s fraternity pledging activities would end in his death.
That was part of her testimony Wednesday in the involuntary manslaughter case against two men who were in the same fraternity as her son.
Shari Foltz told the court she knew the Big/Little event where Stone consumed the deadly amount of alcohol was coming but also could not imagine what the outcome would be.
Shari testified that Stone told her he’d have to drink a lot and said he was not looking forward to that and told his mother he believed it was a ritual.
One of the key themes we have heard in the last two days of actual testimony is the difference between being explicitly told to drink alcohol as opposed to going along with what you believe to be a tradition of drinking alcohol.
Jacob Krinn and Troy Henricksen are both facing involuntary manslaughter charges, among other charges. Krinn was Foltz’s big brother and was supposed to look after him. Henricksen was the new pledge educator and didn’t even attend the event where Foltz drank the alcohol.
Two of the fraternity brothers that were in the same event where Foltz died, spoke on Wednesday. The big brother is revealed to the little brother and the little brother is presented with a bottle of alcohol. This is where the prosecution and defense differ.
Prosecutors said the power of the fraternity and the vulnerability of the pledges pushed them to drink.
Defense lawyers’ counter and those two fraternity members testified that the pledges were never explicitly told to drink the bottle given by their big brother. But there were rumors they had to drink it. They believed it was tradition to drink it. That included social pressure, and the atmosphere of the room pressuring them to drink.
One of the fraternity members, Niall Sweeney who already took a plea deal in this case, testified saying they have let people join even if they didn’t want to drink alcohol.
Prosecutors have said the power a fraternity wields, the power to allow the vulnerable pledges to belong to something ultimately led Foltz and others to drink that night.
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