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Former MSU students receive criminal charges for the death of another student

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Three former Michigan State University students are facing criminal charges for the death of another student. The three were all members of the same fraternity.

Last November, MSU student Phat Nguyen was found dead in the basement of the Pi Alpha Phi fraternity house. He had been participating in a pledge event. According to autopsy reports, Nguyen’s cause of death was alcohol poisoning.

Now, three leaders of the student group — Ethan Tin Cao, Andrew Hoang Nguyen and Hoang John Huu Pham — have been charged with one felony count of hazing resulting in death and three misdemeanor counts of hazing resulting in physical injury according to court documents from the Ingham County Prosecutor's office.

If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison. MSU spokesperson Dan Olson says the fraternity was placed on an interim suspension after the death of Nguyen in November.

"That interim suspension prevented the organization from accessing their university funds and accounts as well as participating in other campus activities, representing the organization or marketing and recruiting students to join their organization," he said.

Olson says the fraternity was disbanded following the conclusion of the university's investigation on December 9, 2021.

"The university removed the organization from student organizations indefinitely and for at least 10 years," he said.

The students are not enrolled in classes for the fall semester but Olson could not confirm or deny whether they were expelled or suspended.

Three other people were found unresponsive near Nguyen following the November 2021 event, though they later recovered after receiving medical attention.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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