5 men plead guilty in hazing death of FSU fraternity pledge

By Mike Vasilinda - Tallahassee Bureau Chief, Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Five men accepted plea deals Monday and agreed to serve jail time in the hazing death of a Florida State University fraternity pledge who died last November.

Under the plea agreement, charges were reduced to misdemeanor hazing. They originally faced felony hazing offenses, which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports four of the men will serve 60-day jail sentences and a fifth will serve 30 days after cooperating with the investigation.

In addition to jail time, the five agreed to serve probation, take part in anti-hazing events and issue apologies to the family of Andrew Coffey.

Connor Ravelo, who bought the alcohol using a fake ID, was the first to enter a plea.

"I apologize for all of this and I make a promise to you in moving forward I will be part of the solution and not part of the problem," Ravelo told Coffey's loved ones in court.

Coffey, 20, died of alcohol poisoning after he was given an entire bottle of whiskey at the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, where the men charged in his death were members.

Sandra Coffey, the victim's mother, fended off tears as she spoke of her son's final moments.

"We are haunted by the image of Andrew being left alone in a room unable to get help on his own and without a single brother coming to his aid," she said.

The death led to the university temporarily banning alcohol and social functions at fraternities and sororities.

Four other men spurned the plea deal and are scheduled to go to trial in June.

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