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Criminal defense attorney says state's case is a difficult one in BGSU hazing trial

Attorney Andy Mayle says the trial hinges on whether or not the state can prove Stone Foltz was coerced into drinking

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The highly charged trial of two fraternity members, charged with multiple felonies after the death of Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz, continues next week. 

Foltz died of alcohol poisoning after a fraternity party in March 2021. 

His death put a spotlight on fraternities and sororities at BGSU, and led to a crackdown on hazing. 

Both of the former fraternity brothers on trial, Troy Henricksen and Jacob Krinn, are accused of facilitating Foltz's death by participating in a hazing ritual in which active fraternity members gave whole bottles of liquor to pledges and told them to drink the entire bottle. 

 A Toledo-area criminal defense attorney, Andy Mayle, says the state will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stone was coerced into drinking. 

He says that won't be an easy thing to prove, but the case hinges on that proof.

RELATED: Parents remember Stone Foltz one year after alleged hazing death

"Hazing is a statutory offense, so the state is going to have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt each and every element of hazing. That's where this case is going to rise or fall in my opinion," said Mayle.

On Friday, Wood County Court of Common Pleas heard from former members of Pi Kappa Alpha, who described the final hours of Stone Foltz life.

At one point, Wood County prosecutor Paul Dobson asked member Scott Steck why he and others left Foltz alone at his apartment.

“None of us had any reason to believe anything was wrong. Jacob [Krinn] said he was all right," said Steck.

RELATED: BGSU Phi Gamma Delta fraternity suspended due to alleged incidents of hazing, underage drinking

The court showed videos from March of 2021 showing Foltz drinking bottles of alcohol. At one point, Foltz's mother left the courtroom with her husband, visibly upset. 

Mayle suggested there is a possibility Judge Joel Kuhlman could dismiss the charges of involuntary manslaughter if coercion could not be proven.

"There is going to be a major issue in this case of whether the evidence presented even rises to the level, the legal definition of coercion," said Mayle .

Mayle says he believes the trial may go to the jury this upcoming week. 

If not, soon after Memorial Day.


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