9 face hazing charges in death of Florida State pledge

TALLAHASSEE — The death of a fraternity pledge from alcohol poisoning has led to hazing charges against nine Florida State University students.

State attorney Jack Campbell filed charges on Wednesday in Leon County Court.

Andrew Coffey, 20, who was a junior and a pledge at Pi Kappa Phi, died of alcohol poisoning on Nov. 3 after he was found unresponsive following a party the night before. The state medical examiner said Coffey had a blood alcohol level of .447 at the time of the autopsy.


Three days after Coffey’s death, Florida State suspended its fraternities and sororities with no timetable on when they would be reinstated. Pi Kappa Phi’s national office has closed the FSU chapter.

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The Tallahassee Police Department said that warrants were signed by a Leon County judge for Luke E. Kluttz and Clayton M. Muehlstein, both 22; Brett A. Birmingham and Anthony Petagine, both 20; and Conner R. Ravelo, Christopher M. Hamlin, Anthony Oppenheimer, John B. Ray, and Kyle J. Bauer, all 21.

The party introduced pledges to their big brothers and included drinking large amounts of liquor straight from the bottle. Coffey allegedly consumed a bottle of bourbon he was given. He passed out and was described as ‘‘snoring loudly’’ on a couch in the living room while others played pool.

A fellow pledge tried to awaken Coffey the next morning and found he had no pulse. Phone records show the pledge called and texted five fraternity members before calling 911.

associated press