Four former Baruch College fraternity brothers in New York pleaded guilty on Monday to the 2013 death of Pi Delta Psi pledge Chun “Michael” Deng in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania.
Sheldon Wong, 24, Charles Lai, 26, Kenny Kwan, 28, and Raymond Lam, 23, have been charged with third-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to felony manslaughter and hindering apprehension.
Wong did not take part in the assault but helped organize the hazing as a “pledge educator”, Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Kim Metzger told the judge.
They are set for sentencing in December and face 22 to 36 months in prison, according to the Associated Press.
The former frat brothers admitted to physically abusing Deng, then tried to cover evidence up as the 19-year-old was left to die in a house they rented in the Pocono Mountains.
Their attorneys simply called Deng’s death a fraternity prank gone wrong.
Police said that Deng was blindfolded by the four members, who forced him to carry a heavy backpack and then tackled him multiple times during the hazing ritual, called “glass ceiling“.
Kwan was the last to tackle Deng after the 19-year-old cursed and hit Lam at one point during the ritual.
Metzger said Deng, who was the last of the pledges to be hazed that weekend, was not able to stand up after that.
Fraternity members carried the unconscious teen inside the house while they changed his clothes and looked up his symptoms online, according to court documents.
An hour passed before the frat brothers took him to the hospital, but by then, it was already too late.
Deng suffered a brain injury and died a day later.
Another suspect, Ka-Wing Yuen, 25, who was the first of 37 co-defendants to come forward, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiracy to hinder apprehension and was sentenced to probation back in January.
Pi Delta Psi itself was charged with murder.