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The exterior of the Athens County Courthouse, 8 E. Washington St. (FILE)

Fourth Sigma Pi fraternity member pleads guilty to charges related to Wiant death

A fourth member of the Ohio University chapter of the Sigma Pi fraternity pleaded guilty late last month to hazing and drug charges related to the death of Collin Wiant. 

Saxon Angell-Perez, 22, joined Dominic Figliola, 21, Cullen W. McLaughlin, 20 and Zachary Herskovitz, 22, after pleading guilty on charges of felony cocaine possession and permitting drug abuse and misdemeanor hazing charges. 

Figliola pleaded guilty to two felony charges of possession of drugs, one misdemeanor charge of hazing and failure to comply with underage alcohol laws. 

McLaughlin entered a guilty plea for the charges of two felonious accounts of possession of LSD, and Herskovitz pleaded guilty to a felony of permitting drug abuse and a misdemeanor charge of hazing. 

As part of each members’ guilty plea, they will have to cooperate with the prosecutors for the remainder of the case, submit to a non-reporting probation and a drug and alcohol diversion program. None of these members will receive jail time.

The diversion program includes an evaluation for substance abuse, community service and community service projects and the creation of an informational video which explains the dangers of hazing, how the four former Sigma Pi members got there and how other Greek life members can avoid what the former Sigma Pi members did, Keller Blackburn, Athens County prosecutor, said.

Five other parties indicted still have cases pending. Those parties include Joshua T. Androsac, 20, charged with involuntary manslaughter, permitting drug abuse, hazing and two counts of trafficking harmful intoxicants; Corbin M. Gustafson, 22, charged with reckless homicide; Elijah R. Wihab, 22, charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, permitting drug abuse, misdemeanor assault and failure to comply with underage alcohol laws; and Stephan B. Lewis, 27, charged with trafficking of harmful intoxicants and improperly dispensing or distributing nitrous oxide. 

“It's a cycle that we need to figure out how to stop; someone has to be the last person,” Blackburn said. “And so, we're working on trying to develop a messaging system to stop that on college campuses and at schools and all the places that it still happens today.”


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