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Crime & Courts

No resolution expected today in 2012 NIU hazing cases

SYCAMORE – Attorneys expect that hazing criminal cases in the November 2012 death of a Northern Illinois University student will continue today, despite previous plans for the defendants to enter plea agreements.

The plea agreements negotiated between prosecutors and defendants remain; prosecutors just indicated they needed more time before presenting them publicly to a judge, defense attorney Jack Donahue said.

David Bogenberger, a 19-year-old Palatine High School graduate, died at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house in November 2012 with a blood-alcohol content of 0.351 percent.

Bogenberger was a fraternity pledge who attended an unsanctioned party, at which fraternity members and other guests ordered the pledges to drink excessive amounts of vodka, authorities have said.

Five fraternity members were charged with felony hazing, which is punishable with probation of up to three years in prison.

They are: former fraternity secretary Patrick W. Merrill, 21, now of Boston; former pledge adviser Omar Salameh, 23, of DeKalb; former fraternity president Alex M. Jandick, 23, of Naperville; former vice president James P. Harvey, 23, of Northfield; and Steven A. Libert, 22, of Naperville.

Meanwhile, Bogenberger’s family is suing 22 men and 15 to 20 women, who allegedly participated in the unsanctioned party, in Cook County court, alleging wrongful death and seeking damages for pain and suffering.

Briefs related to motions to dismiss in that case are due Thursday, and a judge is expected to rule on those motions Dec. 11, Bogenberger family attorney Peter Coladarci said.

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