Last of 4 Charged With Hazing Virginia State University Students - Higher Education

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Last of 4 Charged With Hazing Virginia State University Students

by Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Chesterfield County police said Tuesday that the last of four men charged with hazing after two Virginia State University students drowned is in custody.

Police say Charles E. Zollicoffer II, 29, turned himself in Monday evening, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Zollicoffer’s first court appearance is set for Thursday in Chesterfield County General District Court.

The other suspects were arrested last week. They are James A. Mackey Sr., 35, of suburban Richmond; Eriq K. Benson, 19, of Quinton; and Cory D. Baytop, 26, of Newport News. Benson and Baytop are VSU students.

The bodies of two 19-year-old freshmen, Marvell Edmondson of Portsmouth and Jauwan M. Holmes of Newport News, were recovered from the Appomattox River last week. Police say they were among seven students trying to cross the swift, rain-swollen river on April 20 as part of an initiation into a non-campus group called “Men of Honor.” Police said the students were swept away by the current, and some had to be rescued while others drifted to shore.

Police Lt. Randy Horowitz has described Men of Honor as a social club or “group whose mission is to build the character of young men.” He and VSU spokesman Thomas Reed both said Men of Honor was not affiliated with the university. Reed said the organization at one time approached VSU officials about applying for university recognition but never followed through.

The historically Black university has about 5,300 students in Ettrick, about 25 miles south of Richmond.

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