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9 charged, including Westlake man, after student dies amid alleged fraternity hazing

Posted at 3:20 PM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 17:29:02-05

ATHENS, Ohio — The death of an Ohio University student and a related investigation into alleged hazing by fraternity members has led to charges against nine people, including a Westlake man, two indicted for involuntary manslaughter and another for reckless homicide.

The Athens County prosecutor announced indictments Tuesday related to 18-year-old Collin Wiant’s death last November and allegations about a fraternity he’d sought to join.

The Columbus Dispatch reports seven of the defendants were in the Sigma Pi fraternity.

Most face drug- or alcohol-related charges. Five are charged with misdemeanor hazing.

According to the indictment, Elijah Robert Wahib, 22, of Westlake, Ohio was charged with: tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree; permitting drug abuse, a felony of the fifth degree; hazing, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; assault, a misdemeanor of the first degree; obstructing justice, a felony of the fifth degree; and failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, an unspecified misdemeanor.

Wiant’s family sued Sigma Pi, alleging he died of asphyxiation after ingesting nitrous oxide provided to and forced on him by fraternity members.

The fraternity denied those allegations and said Wiant wasn't a pledge when he died. The university later expelled Sigma Pi.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.