Fraternity could be held accountable for drinking death

October 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some members of the Theta Chi fraternity under investigation for an alcohol-related death are withholding information from Fresno police.

In a search warrant released by the Fresno County Superior Court -- Fresno police called the death of 18-year-old Phillip Dhanens a suspected hazing incident.

Dhanens died of excessive intoxication and brain swelling last month after police say a group of pledges were forced into a room and ordered to drink bottles of alcohol.

When asked if Dhanens was okay, the report says, he replied "no" and then passed out, falling out of his chair and onto the floor.

That's when police say he was put into a "drunk room." It was several hours until fraternity members discovered Dhanens was unconscious and not breathing.

Legal Analyst Marc Kapetan said, "You have potential charges all the way from what they were investigating which was hazing, which could be a misdemeanor or a felony, all the way up to certain homicide charges which the D.A. can contemplate."

No charges have been filed, but investigators have collected several laptops, cell phones and bottles of alcohol form the fraternity.

In the video, Action News reporter Linda Mumma has complete coverage on the story.


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