Frat brother admits to deadly beat down and cover up

2015-12-01 10:22
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Stroudsburg - A former Pennsylvania college fraternity president testified that he and four others charged in a pledge's death during an initiation ritual in the Poconos tried to "cover it all up" when they met weeks later.

Daniel Li testified against his four Baruch College fraternity brothers charged with third-degree murder in the 2013 beating death of 18-year-old Chun "Michael" Deng.

The five defendants, all from the borough of Queens in New York, were held for trial in northeastern Pennsylvania after the daylong preliminary hearing on Monday. All but one had posted bail by late Monday night.

Police have said the fraternity members blindfolded Deng, forced him to wear a heavy backpack and then repeatedly tackled him during a hazing ritual known as the glass ceiling.

Deng fell unconscious and was carried inside the house while fraternity members changed his clothes and searched online for information about his symptoms, waiting an hour before taking him to the hospital, according to court documents.

Deng, who had suffered a brain injury, died a day later.

Pi Delta Psi brothers

Two weeks later, the Pi Delta Psi brothers gathered in New York to decide what to tell police, according to Li, who was the local chapter president.

"It was to determine what everyone said to police after Michael Deng's death. Charles Lai wanted to find out what everyone said so he could tell his lawyer," Li said, according to WNEP-TV.

Defence lawyer Steven Brill, who represents co-defendant Sheldon Wong, called the death an accident. No one initially thought the injuries were life-threatening, he said.

"These are scared kids who clearly had no intention to commit any crimes that weekend. So when this accident occurred, they may have used some bad judgment, but that doesn't mean that they were covering up a homicide," he told The Associated Press after the hearing.

He said there was no testimony on Monday that Deng had asked for the hazing to stop, or was taking part against his will in the activities at the rented house in the mountains. There also was no evidence that Deng or anyone else had been drinking before he fell on the snow and ice, Brill said.

"He knew, like the other pledges knew, that this was the weekend he was going to cross over, to become a brother, and he knew what that entailed," Brill said.

The other defendants are Charles Lai, Kenny Kwan and Raymond Lam. Kwan was the last person to tackle Deng, Li testified.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.