BOWLING GREEN - One handed him the bottle of bourbon.
The other planned the event where new fraternity pledges were expected to guzzle a full bottle of alcohol as quickly as they could.
They both helped cause the death of Stone Foltz, Wood County prosecutors told jurors Tuesday in the trial of two former Bowling Green State University fraternity members.
"Accidents just don't happen they are caused," Assistant Prosecutor Jim Hoppenjans said in Wood County Common Pleas Court.
"This was not meant to be a pleasurable experience," he said. "It was their plan to hurt Stone and the other pledges through this dangerous tradition. They were clearly aware of the dangers. It was a handed-down tradition, it was always done this way and that's why they did it."
Opening statements of Bowling Green hazing death trial
The opening statements in the hazing trial started late Tuesday afternoon in Judge Joel Kuhlman's courtroom after a jury selection process that lasted nearly two days.
Jacob Krinn, 21, of Delaware, and Troy Henricksen, 24, of Grove City, both face multiple charges relating to Foltz's death.
Foltz, 20, died in March 2021 of fatal alcohol intoxication following an initiation event held by their fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha International, better known as PIKE.
Krinn is charged with 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.
Henricksen is charged with first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, eight counts of hazing, and seven counts of failure to comply with underage alcohol laws.
First-degree manslaughter charges carry a maximum penalty of 11 years in prison.
The trial is expected to continue for two to three weeks.
Krinn and Henricksen showed little emotion in the crowded courtroom while their attorneys rebutted the prosecution's claims.
"You won't hear a shred of evidence that Jacob Krinn did anything to force or haze Stone Foltz into drinking that bottle of liquor," said Krinn's attorney, Sam Shamansky. "Not one shred of evidence he encouraged or in any way under the sun pushed or cajoled him to drink that bottle. It's not felonious assault to give someone a bottle of alcohol. It's a tragedy in search of a crime."
Eric Long, Henricksen's attorney, followed Shamansky and told the jury that his client was at home sleeping the night Foltz died and is not responsible for the tragic death.
He said it was Foltz's choice to drink the full bottle of bourbon.
"It was Stone's choice, his free will. This wasn't the pressure of a used car lot," Long said. "You are going to hear about generalized pressure or an atmosphere, but Troy was not there as part of that atmosphere. They (the new pledges) were told explicitly during the new member process that, 'You do not have to do anything you don't want to do.' 'You do not have to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.'"
Eight men were initially charged in connection with Foltz's death. Six of them pleaded guilty, but Krinn and Henricksen were not offered plea deals. Seven of the eight men were currently enrolled at BGSU when the hazing death occurred.
Bowling Green hazing: First Bowling Green student pleads guilty in hazing death of Stone Foltz
Stone Foltz attended 'Big Brother Night' event held by PIKE
Foltz, from Delaware, attended an annual "Big Brother Night" event held by PIKE, where new pledges were initiated into the fraternity, according to Hoppenjans.
The prosecutor said Henricksen was in charge of educating new members about PIKE fraternity life and planned the entire "Big-Little" event.
At the event, pledges were paired with "big brothers," older members of the fraternity meant to mentor them. Krinn, who had known Foltz from their hometown, was his big brother.
Hoppenjans said Foltz and other pledges were expected to drink a bottle of hard liquor, approximately 18 shots, during the event. After Foltz finished his bottle, Krinn and others dropped him off at his apartment. Foltz's roommate later found him unconscious and called 911. He was transported to an area hospital, then flown to a Toledo hospital, where he died two days later.
Foltz's story was included in The Dispatch podcast series Broken Pledge, which originally published in 2019 about fraternity hazing and the life and death of Collin Wiant, an 18-year-old student at Ohio University from Dublin who died after being hazed.
Broken Pledge: Broken Pledge: Stone Foltz died as Collin Wiant's family was fighting to end hazing
The series helped lead to Collin's Law: Ohio's Anti-Hazing Act, which made Ohio the 11th U.S. state to make hazing a felony.
Under Collin's Law, general hazing will be increased to a second-degree misdemeanor, and any hazing involving drugs and alcohol would become a third-degree felony.
College hazing: 'Drive hazing to the ground': Ohio Gov. DeWine signs anti-hazing act Collin's Law
Because Krinn and Henricksen were charged before Collin's Law became state law, they are both being tried under the previous law, which lists hazing as a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
Hoppenjans told the jury that Foltz just wanted to be a part of one of the most-popular fraternities on campus, and like the other new pledges, was expected to do whatever it took to gain membership - Including chugging that bottle of bourbon as fast as he could.
"If you wanted to be become a PIKE you were expected to do PIKE things," Hoppenjans told the jury. "It made them vulnerable. If someone has something you want, they have power over you. You will see in this case how that manifests."
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Stone Foltz hazing death trial: Opening statements