Eleven men were charged with unlawful hazing in the death of Adam Oakes, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University who died in February during a pledge party for the Delta Chi Fraternity.
As of Friday, eight of them had been arrested, according to jail records and WWBT. The three other men were expected to turn themselves in to police; the Richmond Police Department did not respond to a request for comment Sunday.
"This is the first time these young men have been held accountable for their historically toxic and destructive traditions, manipulation of the VCU disciplinary systems, and for Adam’s death," the Oakes family said in a statement on Facebook.
Police found Oakes unresponsive on the couch of an off-campus house after a party Feb. 26 that celebrated matching pledges with fraternity members.
"At this big/little reveal night, Adam was given a bottle of Jack Daniels and told to drink it," reads a statement on the Love Like Adam website, a page run by Oakes's family. "Adam wanted nothing more than to be accepted by the Delta Chi brothers and become a member of their fraternity."
Since his death, his family has been pushing for harsher punishments for hazing incidents, and the Love Like Adam site has blamed not only the students involved but also the fraternity itself for Oakes's death. "Due to the events of one night, one group of boys, and one fraternity tradition, Adam's life was cut short," it reads.
The eight men arrested on suspicion of unlawful hazing so far are Benjamin Corado, 19; Quinn Kuby, 22; Riley McDaniel, 21; Alessandro Medina-Villanueva, 21; Jason Mulgrew, 21; Christian Rohrbach, 22; Colin Tran, 20; and Enayat Sheikhzad, 22.
Three of them — Corado, Kuby, and Tran — are also charged with providing alcohol to a minor.
“A lot of people are saying that these boys are just boys,” Oakes's cousin Courtney White, who runs the Love Like Adam website, told the New York Times after the arrests. “But the fact is that Adam was just a boy too, and they took full advantage of him. And had any one of them stepped up and actually acted like a man and called for help, Adam would still be here.”
The college said in a statement that it "continues to mourn the tragic death of Adam Oakes and is grateful to the Richmond Police Department for its investigation."
The eight men who have been arrested so far are expected to make an initial court appearance Monday.