Florida Fraternity Brothers Face up to 5 Years In Prison for Excessive Hazing

TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Five Florida A&M students accused of going too far in a fraternity hazing ritual have been charged with a felony offense under Florida’s new law that makes hazing a felony if it results in serious bodily injury or death.

Marcus Jones, 19, suffered a ruptured eardrum and injuries to his buttocks when Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity members blindfolded him, beat him with boxing gloves and paddled him with wooden canes. The events took place over the course of four days.

Florida’s new anti-hazing law is the toughest in the nation, making hazing a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The case will be the first application of the new law, which was created after the 2001 drowning of an 18-year-old freshman during rush week at the University of Miami. The freshman drowned while attempting to swim across the campus lake after consuming too much alcohol.

The defendants in the case are Brian Bowman, 23, Cory Gray, 22, Jason Harris, 25, Marcus Hughes, 21 and Michael Morton, 23. All belong to the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Defense attorneys claim Jones’ injuries do not constitute “serious bodily injuries” and that Jones, in his blindfolded state, could not possibly identify who exactly inflicted his injuries.

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