Ex-Frat Brothers Get Jail in Pledge's 2013 Hazing Death: 'Not One Person ... Called an Ambulance'
Three former fraternity brothers from Baruch College were sentenced to jail Monday in the hazing death of Chun "Michael" Deng in 2013, as their fraternity, Pi Delta Psi, is banned from Pennsylvania for ten years and ordered to pay more than $110,000
Three former fraternity brothers from New York City’s Baruch College were sentenced to jail Monday in connection with the 2013 hazing death of a pledge in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, according to multiple reports.
Their fraternity, Pi Delta Psi, was also banned from Pennsylvania for ten years and fined $112,000, according to multiple reports.
On Monday, in Monroe County Court in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, former Pi Delta Psi fraternity brother Kenny Kwan, 28, was sentenced to 12 to 24 months in county jail for his role in the death of fraternity pledge Chun “Michael” Deng in 2013, The Morning Call of Allentown reports.
Former fraternity members Raymond Lam, 23 and Sheldon Wong, 24, were also sentenced to 10 to 24 months in jail, respectively, local news outlet KMBZ reports.
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Charles Lai, 26, who spent 342 days in jail after he was unable to make bail, was sentenced to time served, local news station WNEP reports.
In May, all four, who had been charged with third-degree murder, pleaded guilty to reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter and hindering apprehension.
They are among 37 people charged for their alleged roles in the fatal incident, about which the judge expressed her shock.
“Not one person out of 37 picked up a telephone and called an ambulance,” said Monroe County President Judge Margherita Patti-Worthington, CBS News reports. “There’s something greater going on here, and I think it’s probably really prevalent. We see across the country these issues in fraternities.”
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Deng, an 18-year-old freshman, was pledging Pi Delta Psi when he died on a fraternity trip to a rented house in the Poconos in the winter of 2013.
Deng was participating in a brutal initiation ritual in which pledges were blindfolded and forced to carry backpacks filled with 30 pounds of sand while trying to break through a line of fraternity brothers who repeatedly tackled them to prevent them from getting through, court records state.
During the ritual, Deng was “subjected to repeated blunt force trauma” to the head, torso, and thighs, say court records.
At one point in the initiation, when Deng was tackled, his head slammed against the frozen ground, causing him to lose consciousness, court records show.
Rather than take the young pledge to the hospital, the fraternity members allegedly contacted the fraternity’s national president, Andy Meng, who allegedly advised them to hide all Pi Delta Psi-related paraphernalia before calling authorities, according to court records.
While Deng was unconscious, fraternity members tried to revive him and searched online for information about his symptoms, court records show.
They waited for more than an hour before taking Deng to the hospital, which was 45 minutes away, say court records.
But by that time, he had already suffered major brain trauma, prosecutors alleged.
“The delay in treatment of one to two hours significantly contributed” to his death, the forensic pathologist said at the time.
All four men apologized in court, CBS reports.
Revealing that he has tried to kill himself over the anguish he says he feels for Deng’s death, Lam said, “The guilt will never go away, and I think about Mr. Deng every day.”
In a statement to the court, Deng’s mother said she hoped the men’s sentences would prevent further hazing deaths in the future, CNN reports.
“This punishment should forever remind them of the pain and grief we will carry for the rest of our lives as the result of their misconduct,” Mary Liu Deng wrote in her victim impact statement. “It is also our hope that the punishment may also save lives by sending a clear message to other fraternities and their members that the outrageous tradition of hazing will no longer be tolerated and must be ended once and for all.”
Earlier on Monday, the Pi Delta Psi fraternity itself was also sentenced, the New York Times reports.
It has been banned from Pennsylvania for 10 years and ordered to pay more than $110,000 in fines, the Times reports.
In November, the fraternity was convicted of involuntary manslaughter at trial.
PEOPLE’s calls for comment to the men’s attorneys, Deng’s family and prosecutors were not immediately returned.