22 Charged in Fraternity Pledge’s Death due to Hazing

The fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha was having a party on November 1st called “Parents Night”.  It was an unauthorized party both by the standards set by Northern Illinois University and the national chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha.  It was termed “Parents Night” because senior members of the fraternity “parent” new pledges.  Pledges move from room to room answer trivia questions and drink copious amounts of alcohol.

On the morning of November 2nd, the body of a 19-year-old boy from Palatine was found dead in a bed.  David Bogenberger’s death was ruled accidental at that time.  Further investigation into his cause of death showed that alcohol played a massive role in his death.  His blood-alcohol level was around 5 times the legal limit for driving of .08.  The excessive drinking caused his heart to suffer a cardiac arrhythmia and stop.

As of December 7th, Pi Kappa Alpha has lost its status as a student organization and more sanctions are pending.  NIU has also found that 31 members of the fraternity have violated the Student Code of Conduct.  The punishments for this kind of infraction range from a reprimand to expulsion from the University.

As of December 17th, five leaders of this fraternity have been charged with felony hazing resulting in death including the fraternity’s president, Alexander M. Jandick, 21, of Naperville; its vice president, James P. Harvey, 21, of DeKalb; pledge adviser Omar Salameh, 21, of DeKalb; secretary Patrick W. Merrill, 19, of DeKalb; and event planner Steven A. Libert, 20, of Naperville.  Seventeen other members are facing misdemeanor charges of hazing.

The sentences available for felony hazing range from probation to 3 years in jail.  Misdemeanor hazing is much less at less than a year in prison as well as possible probation.  These are very serious offences especially for young adults, especially when considering how criminal records can affect employment, loans, and other important aspects of adult life.  Don’t let mistakes dictate the rest of your life, instead consider getting your record expunged or sealed.  Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Chicago who can assist you in the procedure of expunging your records.

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