Fraternity on trial for 2013 hazing death

Posted at 8:31 AM, Nov 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-14 08:31:08-05

STROUDSBURG, PA (WNEP/CNN) - A fraternity headed to trial Monday for the hazing death of a pledge.

Attorneys gave opening statements in the trial of Pi Delta Psi fraternity, as it is the actual Greek organization on trial for third-degree murder in the death of Chun "Michael" Deng, not the members themselves.

The 18-year-old student at Baruch College in New York was killed during a hazing ritual at a home that members of the fraternity had rented in Coolbaugh Township in 2013.

Authorities said Deng was "blindfolded, forced to wear a backpack weighted with sand and pummeled by other fraternity members as he tried to cross a frozen yard" until he was knocked unconscious, the New York Times reported.

The other members then delayed seeking medical assistance for Deng.

Authorities charged 37 members of the fraternity in the incident. Four pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and are expected to be sentenced next month.

In court Monday, the prosecution recounted what happened to Deng and how the brothers tried to cover it up.

The defense said the organization has a no-hazing policy and does not condone the acts committed by the members.

During testimony, the prosecution called several witnesses to the stand. Many were Pocono Mountain Regional police officers who responded to the home the fraternity brothers rented.

The officers stated that during interviews, many of the members said they were asleep and didn't know what happened, and they didn't learn Deng was taken to the hospital until the next morning.

The trial is expected to last all week, and officials said if the organization is found guilty, it faces fines and suspension of its rights to operate in the state of Pennsylvania.

Copyright 2017 WNEP via CNN. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.