Cops have arrested Nolan Burch’s fraternity “Big Brother” in connection with Burch’s death. On February 11, police announced the arrested of 20-year-old Richard Schwartz in connection with the teen’s death in November 2014. Schwartz is 20 years old.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Comes From the Same Town as Nolan Burch
WDTV reports that Schwartz is from Williamsville, New York. Schwartz and Burch come from the same town. Richard Schwartz handed himself over to police in Morgantown, West Virginia, on February 10, reports the Buffalo News. Schwartz was living in Quantico Court, close to WVU. He was released from custody after posting a $10,000 bond.
2. He’s Charged With 2 Counts of Hazing
He has been charged with one count of hazing and one count of conspiracy to commit hazing. Court papers say that Schwartz is accused of buying the bottle of booze that Burch drank on the night of his death. Schwartz had been appointed as Burch’s “Big Brother” during an initation ceremony into the frat. A statement from West Virginia University said that the drinking during a “big brother” activity had contributed to Burch’s .493 blood alcohol content.
3. The Chapter of His Frat Was Never Recognized by WVU
The Daily Athenaeum reports that Schwartz was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. The chapter was not recognized on campus at the time of the incident. In a statement following the arrest, WVU’s Dean of Students Corey Farris said:
West Virginia University officials learned today (Feb. 11) of criminal charges brought by the Morgantown Police against a WVU student in the death of a fellow student, Nolan Burch.
The Nov. 12 medical emergency and subsequent death, reportedly stemmed from a Kappa Sigma “big brother” activity – even though the chapter was not a recognized organization on campus.
‘We are still grieving over Nolan’s untimely death and for his family, who has faced such sadness and loss.
4. Nolan Burch’s Last Twitter Post Said ‘It Was Going to Be an Eventful Night’
On his now-deleted Twitter account, Nolan Burch’s last message was “It’s about to be a very eventful night to say the least.” The pledges were expected to drink a bottle of liquor while blindfolded. The booze was given to the pledges by their “big brother.”
5. Greek Societies Are Still Working to Be Recognized Again at WVU
Following Burch’s death, WVU suspended all fraternity and sorority activities. The Daily Athenaeum reports that as of February 2015, WVU is trying to work with the leaders of Greek societies to start a more “service and academic-orientated culture.”