Attorneys given more time in University of Missouri Fiji felony hazing case




  • In US
  • 2022-09-26 23:01:14Z
  • By Columbia Daily Tribune

Judge Jeff Harris on Monday gave attorneys another month to work things out in a case involving one of 11 defendants charged with hazing Danny Santulli last year.

The hearing Monday began what is expected to be four consecutive days of hearings for hazing defendants.

Santulli was a freshman pledge of Phi Gamma Delta, a fraternity at the University of Missouri commonly known as Fiji. Last October, Santulli participated in "pledge dad reveal night," a drinking party at the fraternity house. After drinking most of a bottle of vodka and drinking beer from a tube with beer being poured into a funnel, Santulli collapsed and became unresponsive.

The events of the night are detailed on surveillance video obtained by the Tribune.

The incident left Santulli with brain damage, unable to see, walk or talk and requiring around-the-clock care. He is at his parents' home in Minnesota.

More:Where things stand in the criminal cases related to Danny Santulli's hazing at Fiji house

The university has banned the fraternity from campus. Officials have said 13 fraternity members were disciplined.

Thomas Shultz, of Chesterfield, is charged with felony hazing in the incident. Shultz was vice president and treasurer of the fraternity.

Julie Drury, MU assistant dean of students, has not yet been deposed, the attorneys said.

"What I'm going to do is just have everybody come back in a month and maybe you'll know more," Harris said.

Harris set the next hearing for Oct. 24.

An MU banner is taken down as a storm rolls over the Phi Gamma Delta house during their move-out day Oct.
An MU banner is taken down as a storm rolls over the Phi Gamma Delta house during their move-out day Oct.  

Shultz's attorney, Brent Haden, had sought a change of venue for the trial because of the amount of media coverage, but Harris ruled that the trial will be in Boone County with a Greene County jury.

A status hearing for former Fiji member Alec Wetzler is scheduled Tuesday. Wetzler, of St. Louis, is the only defendant among the 11 charged to be charged only with a misdemeanor. He is charged with supplying alcohol to a minor and possession of alcohol by a minor.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Wednesday for Benjamin Karl, of Columbia, charged with felony hazing.

Samuel Lane, of Columbia, the former Fiji chapter president, has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Roger McKinney is the education reporter for the Tribune. You can reach him at rmckinney@columbiatribune.com or 573-815-1719. He's on Twitter at @rmckinney9.

This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: Mizzou Fiji hazing defendants face hearings this week

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