Fresno State students to face charges in hazing death
Three Fresno State students could face up to a year in jail if they are convicted in connection with a fraternity hazing that caused the death of an 18-year-old freshman, according to authorities.
Philip Dhanens died of alcohol poisoning the night of Aug. 31 after he and 14 other fraternity pledges were locked in a room and told they could not leave until they had consumed bottles of tequila, rum and vodka, Fresno police said.
During the investigation, Theta Chi fraternity members evaded detectives' questions. Police said they feared the fraternity might hide or destroy evidence, and searched the house.
An autopsy found that alcohol consumption caused Dhanens' brain to swell. His blood-alcohol level was 0.36.
The death was the second alcohol-related fatality at a Fresno State fraternity party in six years. In 2006, a 19-year-old died of alcohol poisoning at a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity party. The university suspended that fraternity for five years.
-– Diana Marcum in Fresno
Photo: Philip Dhanens' parents, Paul and Diane Dhanens, left, listen as Fresno County Dist. Atty. Elizabeth Egan and Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer announce charges filed against three Fresno State students. Credit: Eric Paul Zamora / Fresno Bee