BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) — One of the eight men charged in the fraternity hazing death of a Bowling Green State University sophomore pleaded guilty on Thursday in Ohio.
Niall Sweeney, 21, of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in a Wood County courtroom to felony tampering with evidence and misdemeanor hazing in the March death of 20-year-old Stone Foltz, a sophomore from Delaware, Ohio.
A felony involuntary manslaughter charge and two other misdemeanor charges were dismissed. Sweeney was the first defendant in the case to enter a guilty plea.
A message seeking comment was left with Sweeney's attorney.
Attorneys for Foltz's parents issued a statement that said Sweeney's plea "sends a strong message that any act of hazing will not be tolerated in this great state."
Foltz, who was trying to join Pi Kappa Alpha, was found unconscious by a roommate after the hazing ritual and died three days later. He drank an entire bottle of bourbon and could not walk on his own afterward, according to findings from a law firm hired by the university to investigate the death.