Attorney of arrested FSU student criticizes Coffey death investigation

Attorney of FSU student charged in Andrew Coffey's death speaks out
Attorney of FSU student charged in Andrew Coffey's death speaks out
Posted at 4:34 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 13:14:17-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The ban on Greek Life at FSU was put in place after the death of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity pledge Andrew Coffey.

Wednesday, all nine students charged with felony hazing in connection to his death turned themselves in.

Fred Conrad represents Brett Birmingham and says his client is "scared" and traumatized by the death of someone he considered a "close friend." Conrad says the state's theory is a stretch and he intends to fight it.

According to court records, investigators believe Birmingham "pressured" underage pledges to drink alcohol as part of a fraternity tradition.

Conrad said that simply isn't true and Andrew Coffey drank without anyone forcing him to. In fact, he said this shouldn't even be considered hazing. Conrad also criticized how investigators went about trying to get information in this case.

"I think in the very beginning, law enforcement did their best to try to pressure and coerce these young men to come forward and make statements -- and, in fact, I think they tried to pressure some of the lawyers to get their clients to come forward and make statements," said Conrad.

Conrad said he and his client are taking this charge seriously, though he said it's not appropriate given the incident.

We've reached out to attorneys representing three other defendants, but none were available for comment.