Earlier this week, an “Asian American cultural fraternity” pleaded guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault for the death of student Michael Deng in 2013. The Pi Delta Psi fraternity of New York’s Baruch College were also found guilty of hazing, conspiracy, and hindering apprehension.
After six days of testimony, jurors announced the verdict of fraternity Pi Delta Psi on Tuesday; despite being found guilty to these serious charges, the group was acquitted of their more grave offenses — namely voluntary manslaughter and third-degree murder.
According to South China Morning Post, the Pi Delta Psi fraternity members are now planning to appeal their case. Prosecutors are looking to implement a fine and statewide ban once the fraternity is sentenced for their crimes.
Defendant Ka-Wing Yuen was the first of the 37 defendants who was found guilty early this year of being responsible for the death of the 19-year-old student. Four former frat members, Sheldon Wong, Charles Lai, Kenny Kwan, and Raymond Lam soon followed, pleading guilty to felony manslaughter and hindering apprehension.
Witnesses revealed that Deng had gone through violent and physical harm after he fought back against the fraternity members. Deng was taken to a rented house in Pocono Mountains four years ago, where he was blindfolded, forced to carry weights, and subjected to severe physical abuse prior to his death.
Deng, the last pledge subjected to hazing that week, was tackled multiple times before he was ultimately knocked unconscious. Members of the fraternity tried resuscitating Deng themselves but were unable to save him. The 19-year-old ultimately died from brain injuries a day after he was taken to the hospital.