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Former VCU students charged in fraternity hazing death released on bond

Posted at 2:52 PM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 14:52:23-04

RICHMOND, Va. - All 11 people charged with hazing in connection to the death of 19-year-old VCU freshman Adam Oakes have been released on bond pending their next court date in October.

The court is requiring several of the men to move back in with their families for supervision as the legal process plays out. As a condition of their bond, the men must also submit to random drug and alcohol testing.

Nine of the 11 accused in the crime were suspended from VCU following their arrests, the Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney’s office confirmed.

Seven of the defendants were arrested Friday in Richmond and spent the weekend in jail.

Oakes, a 19-year-old college student from Loudoun County, died from alcohol poisoning in February 2021. His family said Oakes died after he received a bid to join the Delta Chi fraternity at VCU and that hazing played a role in his death.

They said he was told to drink a large bottle of whiskey and at some point in the evening, he hit his head.

His body was later discovered at a home on West Clay Street.

Andrew White, one of the former VCU students charged with hazing and purchasing alcohol for a minor, turned himself in on Sunday night.

White, who had been living and working in South Carolina, was Adam's big brother in the fraternity and responsible for Adam the night of his death, according to the Commonwealth's Attorney.

Adam was one of three, "underground pledges" who was not going through the formal recruitment as the other fraternity brothers. He was not required to watch a video on hazing provided by the national chapter of Delta Chi.

The Oakes family, who was in court, said it was difficult hearing about how Adam died. The family said they hoped this never happens again and that those involved in their son’s death were given the maximum punishment based on the level of their involvement.

The next court hearing for those charged is scheduled for October 4.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.