Four Charged After Hazing Leaves One VSU Student Dead, Another Missing

VSU Hazing, Virginia State University

Three of the four men charged with hazing from left to right: James A. Mackey, Eriq Benson and Cory Baytop.

Four men have been charged with hazing after two Virginia State University freshman were swept away while trying to cross a turbulent river as a part of an initiation rite, reports The Leaf Chronicle.

Police arrested James A. Mackey Sr., 35; Eriq K. Benson, 19; and Cory D. Baytop, 26. Charles E. Zollicoffer II, 29, is still being sought. The four suspects were a part of an organization, which is not affiliated by VSU, called “Men of Honor.” An initiation into the organization required seven VSU students to cross the rapids Appomattox River. Two of the students did not make it across as they were swept away by the river’s strong current.

The body of Marvell Edmonson was recovered on Monday while a search for Jauwan M. Holmes is still underway. Both of the students were 19 years old.

VSU, Virginia State University Hazing

Authorities search for the remaining missing VSU student.

Police Lt. Randy Horowitz said “Men of Honor” is a social “group whose mission is to build the character of young men.” While the organization is not sanctioned by the school, University spokesman Thomas Reed acknowledged that VSU has had problems with hazing in the past, but has been working on eliminating the problem.

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