News

Former Cornell University Students Cleared In Fraternity Hazing Death Of NYC Student

(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

ITHACA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three men have been acquitted of charges stemming from the alcohol-related fraternity hazing death of a Cornell University student.

The Ithaca Journal reports that a judge on Tuesday acquitted Max Haskin, Ben Mann and Edward Williams of all charges in the February 2011 death of 19-year-old George Desdunes of Brooklyn.

The men’s four-day bench trial ended May 24.

The three former Cornell fraternity pledges were accused of taking part in a hazing ritual during which Desdunes and another student were given cups of alcohol to drink.

Desdunes was found unconscious at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house in Ithaca with a blood alcohol content of .35 after the night of heavy drinking. He was later pronounced dead.

Authorities said he died from alcohol poisoning.

Desdunes’ mother filed a $25 million-dollar wrongful-death lawsuit against the national fraternity last June.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)