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Who was Stone Foltz? Fraternity members found guilty of hazing and acquitted of homicide in BGSU student death trial

Two fraternity members have been convicted of hazing related charges following the death of Stone Foltz (representative mage via Luis Sinco/ Getty)
Two fraternity members have been convicted of hazing related charges following the death of Stone Foltz (representative mage via Luis Sinco/ Getty)

On 27 May, 2022, two fraternity members accused in the death of Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz were convicted of several hazing-related charges, but acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide.

We are deeply saddened and troubled by the sudden death of Stone Foltz. We stand in solidarity with the student organizers who are demanding for justice. https://t.co/u3rvrunaDb

CBS reported that in March 2021, 20-year-old Green State University student Stone Foltz and several other students took part in a hazing ritual for college fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha. As part of the initiation, Foltz was promised membership in the fraternity on the condition that he drink an entire bottle of alcohol.

After Stone Foltz nearly consumed the entire bottle, fraternity members took him to his apartment, where he remained unconscious and had to eventually be hospitalized. Three days later he died of alcohol poisoning at the Prat Promedica Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. The university commemorated him with a memorial service.

Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. at the Doyt Perry Stadium - BGSU and USG invite the BGSU community to a memorial service to honor Stone Foltz. West gates will open at 6 p.m. All guest comply with COVID-19 face coverings and distancing guidelines. https://t.co/Cd27aibFof

Several members of Pi Kappa Alpha, better known as PIKE were charged in Holtz’s death, including 24-year-old Troy Henricksen and 20-year-old Jacob Krinn. The court found Henrickson guilty of 8 counts of hazing and seven counts of failing to comply with underage alcohol rules, all of which were misdemeanors. Krinn was convicted of hazing and failure to comply, along with obstruction of official business. They are scheduled to be sentenced on July 8 and July 29, respectively.


The hazing ritual of Stone Foltz

According to NBC news, in their efforts to join Pi Kappa Alpha, Foltz and other potential members attended an off-campus party held by senior fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha members. Each of the initiates, called pledges or “little brothers”, were paired with “big brothers”. Fraternities use this system to create a form of guidance for new members.

Honored to join ⁦@GovMikeDeWine⁩ as he signed the anti-hazing Colin’s Law. We must always stay vigilant…hazing is unacceptable on any college campus. The stories from the families of Colin Wyatt and Stone Foltz were powerful reminders of the importance of these efforts. https://t.co/FkPO72CkBh

According to Wood Country Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson, established fraternity members encouraged the underage Foltz to drink a whole bottle of alcohol. As per court documents, Foltz finished his bottle of high-alcohol liquor in only 18 minutes. Trash cans were placed around the room, as it was expected many initiates would vomit.

Dobson said:

“It is alleged that Stone Foltz consumed all or nearly all of the contents of his bottle and then was taken home by several members, including his big brother Jacon Krinn. He was left there alone.”
BGSU sophomore, Stone Foltz died last week. Students and staff gathered at Doyt Perry Stadium to celebrate his life. Some of people closest to him shared memories. https://t.co/rztzUml49b

The fraternity members drove an unconscious Stone Foltz to his apartment, where they eventually left him. After a while Foltz’s girlfriend arrived to look after the unconscious student, but upon realizing he had stopped breathing, she called the police.

Foltz was eventually transported to the Toledo hospital, where he died after 3 days. The university launched an investigation into the matter, charging the local chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha with various violations including hazing and underage drinking. The fraternity was expelled from the campus.

The Greek letters on the Pike fraternity house at BGSU have already been removed.Dozens of students are gathering this morning to honor classmate Stone Foltz, who died Sunday from a hazing incident. They’re also calling on BG to increase accountability for Greek orgs. https://t.co/WHFnPHG0Kc

In an official statement, Bowling Green State University expressed their reasons for banning the fraternity from campus altogether.

“The university’s investigation found the fraternity to be reckless with a disregard for the health and safety of our community."

It continued:

"The investigation also revealed a deep culture of deception rooted in the organization, filled with dishonesty and disrespect for our community.”

Justice for Stone Holtz

On April 29, 2021, Dobson charged 8 members of Pi Kappa Alpha for the death of Stone Foltz. While Henricksen and Krinn face the most serious charges, CBS reports that the other six accused are likely to face probation.

An emotional day as I looked on while Stone Foltz's parents Shari and Cory and his best friend, Wade McKenzie, who called 911 when he found Stone unresponsive on that fateful March night, testified in support of SB 126, my Anti-Hazing legislation.We need to get this done! https://t.co/pI5Cmtf2ZJ

Eric Long, an attorney representing Henricksen, said that the situation was unfortunate, but charges of manslaughter would be too harsh.

He said:

“This is clearly a tragic matter; however, it is not being helped by the indictment of Troy Henricksen. The facts are clear, even at this early juncture that he is not criminally liable.”
CLOSING ARGUMENT: Eric Long ⬇️ He argues Troy Henricksen is not responsible for new members’ choices to drink. He argues internet searches show Stone Foltz was looking at how to prepare, looking for a strategy for voluntarily consuming alcohol. https://t.co/MPVxgsF2vs

The parents of Stone Foltz, Shari and Cory Foltz, have been extremely vocal in condemning Pi Kappa Alpha and hazing rituals in general.

Shari Foltz said:

“We will not stop until we can eradicate hazing altogether because this is not the way any parents want to live or any siblings want to live.”

She added:

“I mean, our life completely changed. There is not a day that doesn’t go by that we are not mourning the loss of Stone and trying to remember the good memories that we’ve had. But it is hard. And it’s not right and it’s not fair.”
We need to urgently change campus culture regarding hazing so that no more families feel the way that Collin Wiant's and Stone Foltz's do. That is why I introduced Senate Bill 126.Yesterday, Senator Kunze and I provided testimony during the bill's first hearing. https://t.co/BPmcOL63ex

As a result of their experiences, Shari and Cory Foltz have taken steps to push anti-hazing bills, intending to eradicate dangerous fraternity initiation rituals across Ohio.


The legacy of Stone Foltz

Together we can prevent hazing. #BGSU is hosting a series of #HazingPreventionWeek events to recognize the role we can all play in hazing prevention.For Falcons, this is deeply personal with the tragic loss of student Stone Foltz earlier this year. #NHPW2021 #RememberStone https://t.co/nRkcrOhfO3

According to 10TV, Shari and Cory decided to keep Stone Foltz alive long enough to donate his organs in order to carry on his legacy. According to Cory Foltz, nearly 100 transplants were successful.

“We did hear that his heart was a successful transplant to a female in her 20s and she’s been able to spend time with her 5-year-old now. So that’s just amazing, hearing those good stories.”
.@bgsu students are gathering now for a moment of silence for Stone Foltz. This student will be giving this basketball to the Foltz family. https://t.co/PpAkzNDjey

Shari Foltz also told news outlets about how grateful she was that her sons’ organs could change people's lives for the better. She hopes to meet the patients who received the transplants.

“It would mean everything to us to get to meet her and meet the others that you know were recipients of Stone’s organs, because it just means so much. And we hope that’s what we carry on.”
#bgsu held a candlelight memorial to remember Stone Foltz. The memorial comes nearly one year following Foltz's death on March 7, 2021. Foltz, who was trying to join Pi Kappa Alpha at BGSU, was found unconscious by a roommate after a hazing ritual and died 3 days later. https://t.co/WtP371u3vR

After Stone Foltz's death, Shari also spoke publicly against university hazing rituals, pushing the governor to prioritize an anti-hazing bill called Collin’s Law, which called for stricter hazing penalties in Ohio. The bill was signed at the beginning of July 2021.

Edited by Babylona Bora
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