RADFORD — Six of the seven Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity members charged in the hazing death of a Radford University student last year avoided jail time in a plea deal Friday.
Radford Circuit Court Judge Joey Showalter found five of the men guilty of purchasing alcohol for a minor and for hazing in the death of Samuel Harris Mason, 20, of Chesterfield County. Mason was a Radford University student who was pledging the TKE fraternity.
Charges against a sixth student were continued for 12 months with no finding.
“This case vividly illustrates the hazards and risks of binge drinking,” Radford Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Rehak wrote in a statement released after the plea. “Those who commit crimes of hazing in Radford can expect to be identified, prosecuted and convicted.”
The defendants who pleaded guilty Friday were Chadwick Evancho, 23; Christopher Michael Pizzi, 22; William Taylor Burke, 21; Christopher Scott Cothren, 22; and Louis Hoskins Trible, 22.
Showalter found them guilty of misdemeanor charges of purchasing alcohol for a minor and of hazing. They were each sentenced to 24 months in jail, suspended, and $1,000 in fines.