RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — All charges relating to the death of VCU student Adam Oakes have been dropped for five of the 11 Delta Chi fraternity members who were indicted.
Prosecutors dropped the charges against Rily McDaniel, Robert Fritz, Alexander Bradley, Alessandro Medina-Villanueva and Quinn Kuby, according to the Virginia Judiciary online database. All five had initially been charged with misdemeanor hazing — and Fritz, Bradly and Kuby had also been charged with serving alcohol to a minor.
It is not known at this time why the charges were dropped.
Oakes, 19, was found dead at an off-campus house on the 100 block of West Clay Street after a “big-little” Delta Chi fraternity party. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be “ethanol toxicity,” a type of alcohol poisoning.
Following an investigation, 11 people were indicted in connection to the Oakes’ alleged hazing death.
Andrew White, Oakes’ “big brother” on the night of his death, pleaded guilty to unlawful hazing and providing alcohol to a minor on Tuesday, Dec. 21.
Former Delta Chi “pledge master,” Christian Rohrbach, pleaded guilty to unlawful hazing in Richmond Circuit Court on Thursday, April 28.
Jason Mulgrew, the chapter’s president at the time, pleaded no contest to unlawful hazing in Richmond Circuit Court on Thursday, May 5.
Three others pleaded guilty — Benjamin Corado, Colin Tran, Enayat Sheikhzad — but have not been sentenced.
None of the six who pleaded guilty received jail time.
Courtney White, the cousin of Adam Oakes, spoke to 8News after hearing the status of the charges being dropped against the 5 former Delta Chi members.
“Our family has been on a rollercoaster of emotions for over a year now. It seems like every time we are coming to grips with Adam’s passing by staying busy and focused on keeping his story alive, honoring him, and teaching others about the dangers of hazing, we are knocked down by a blow like this one,” White said.
The family of Adam Oakes has already spoken to University of Lynchburg and Randolph College students about the dangers of hazing; including educating them on safety, awareness and prevention. The family will be speaking to University of Virginia Wise campus on September 6.
“Just because their charges were dropped doesn’t make them innocent. They were there. They took little brothers. They could’ve called 911 and gotten him help… I hope none of them forget Adam and what happened that night. There is no moving forward from this for Adam or us. They need to think about that,” White said.