Katharine DeRosa, News Editor
Eleven people were indicted on Friday in connection to the death of VCU freshman Adam Oakes, as a result of a seven-month-long investigation led by the Richmond Police Department, according to RPD spokesperson Tracy Walker.
Out of the eight people arrested, seven were taken into custody by VCU Police and one by Virginia State Police. The other three individuals turned themselves in on Monday, according to Walker. After a Sept. 27 hearing, seven more were released on bond, according to an article by CBS6 Richmond.
The Oakes family released an emailed statement on Friday with a list of seven things that can be learned from Adam’s death and the recent arrests. The list includes stopping hazing, “being brave” by standing up for others, calling emergency services and “hug your loved ones and let them know you care.”
“Time is precious,” the Oakes family stated. “We would give anything to hug Adam one more time, see the smile on face, or hear his laugh, but we can’t because of the actions these young men took that evening in February.”
Benjamin Corado, Quinn Kuby, Riley McDaniel, Alessandro Medina-Villanueva, Jason Mulgrew, Christian Rohrbach, Colin Tran, Enayat Sheikhzad, Andrew White, Alexander Bradley and Robert Fritz have been charged with “unlawful hazing of a student.” Corado, Kuby, Tran, White, Bradley and Fritz were additionally charged with “purchase, giving alcohol to a minor.”
Nine out of the 11 people indicted are currently enrolled in the Fall 2021 semester, according to university spokesman Michael Porter. Sheikhzad is a graduate of the university and White is not enrolled in the Fall 2021 semester. Andrew White has no relation to Courtney White, cousin of Oakes.
University public relations could not indicate the disciplinary status of the nine students as of Sept. 28, however, CBS 6 Richmond reported seven have been suspended.
The Oakes family also stated they are grateful for the “relentless effort, diligence, and perseverance” of Major Crimes Detective Michael Gouldman and Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Alison Martin. Gouldman led the investigation of Oakes’ death, according to RPD.
“Our entire family has faith in the judicial system and we appreciate the driving efforts for justice,” the Oakes family stated. “To the young men charged, we hope you learn from your criminal acts and never, ever forget what you and Delta Chi did to our sweet boy, Adam Oakes.”
A majority of the individuals: Kuby, McDaniel, Medina-Villanueva, Mulgrew, Rohrbach, Tran, White, Bradley and Fritz will have a court session at 9 a.m. on Oct. 4 in the Richmond City Circuit Court at the John Marshall Courts Building.
Oakes was pronounced dead by Richmond Police on Feb. 27 after he was found dead at a West Clay Street residence the morning after attending a Delta Chi event, the fraternity Oakes pledged. Oakes’ family says a hazing event led to his death.
VCU’s chapter of Delta Chi was suspended the morning after his death and officially expelled from campus on June 3, according to a university statement.
The cause of death was ruled accidental due to ethanol toxicity, a type of alcohol poisoning, according to a May 25 report from the Richmond Medical Examiner.
The seven-month-long investigation was conducted by the RPD in collaboration with VCU Police and the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, according to Walker.
Hazing is considered a class one misdemeanor in Virginia, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine or both.
The international headquarters of Delta Chi released a statement condemning the actions of the former members of the VCU chapter following the arrests that were made on Friday, Sept. 24.
“No family should ever have to experience what the Oakes family has experienced,” Delta Chi stated. “Delta Chi remains committed to continued cooperation with all law enforcement agencies and efforts.”