Former and current state attorneys discuss Coffey investigation

Former and current state attorneys discuss Coffey investigation
Former and current state attorneys discuss Coffey investigation
Posted at 5:47 PM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 17:24:36-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The death of FSU student Andrew Coffey prompted the state attorney's office to launch a criminal investigation to find out who's responsible. 

This is still an active investigation, so state attorney Jack Campbell's office is still reviewing evidence before making any decision to file charges, which Campbell suspects will happen.

Both he and his predecessor, Willie Meggs, shared some insight into this case.

"As an investigative agency and as a prosecutor, I'm always trying to find the truth," said Campbell.

Campbell knows there's a lot of talk about what happened to Andrew Coffey.

The 20-year-old was found dead at an off-campus party last month. The state attorney's office quickly presented the case to a grand jury, but the investigation is far from over.

"Often, our criminal cases take years to resolve," Campbell explained. "If charges are filed in this case, then it would probably take years to resolve all of that."

The journey to get justice has been hampered by the majority of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers refusing to talk to law enforcement.

"I'm frustrated as a prosecutor. I'm frustrated as a member of the community. Obviously, we have a young man who died too soon," said Campbell. "It's a tragedy to lose his life, and I have promised his parents I'm going to do everything in my power to find out that truth."

Campbell says he intends to share the presentment with a new grand jury in January.

"'Do you all want to make charging decisions, or do you want to leave that to me?' And then, based on that interaction, I'll take my next step," said Campbell.

Former state attorney Willie Meggs says the role of a grand jury is invaluable.

"They are, in fact, the conscience of our community, and so, if they believe that fraternity life at FSU is run amok, then they can say that," said Meggs.

"This is the public coming out and saying, 'Here's what we found. We took the time, we took the power. We took the effort to go ahead and look at this matter. Here you are, Tallahassee, Leon County, state of Florida. This is what's happened in our community, and this is what we think we need to do about it."

Campbell says he won't make any charging decisions before putting this case in front of the next grand jury, which has to power to indict.

Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity has released the following statement:  

"We were saddened by the details in the Grand Jury presentment about the tragic death of Andrew Coffey. Since originally learning of Andrew’s death, Pi Kappa Phi has continued to direct the students at Florida State to cooperate with all investigative efforts.

Nationally, Pi Kappa Phi collaborates with university partners to provide students with training, resources and mature adult guidance. The national fraternity holds chapters and individual members accountable through our conduct process. The FSU chapter was closed in the week following Andrew’s death; and the national fraternity will utilize the findings of the criminal investigation, once concluded, to hold individuals accountable."