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Mich. College Students Face Charges

March 25, 2000

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) _ Six members of an unofficial fraternity are facing charges in the alcohol-related death of a university freshman, prosecutors said.

Stephen Petz, 19, a Ferris State University student, died March 15 of apparent alcohol poisoning after participating in what police characterized as a hazing initiation into the Knights of College Leadership fraternity.

A preliminary autopsy report showed his blood alcohol level was 0.42 percent, more than four times the legal limit for intoxication.

Prosecutor Peter Jaklevic issued warrants Friday charging the six. The charges range from furnishing alcohol to a minor, a misdemeanor, to involuntary manslaughter, a 15-year-felony.

Names of the suspects and the specific charges against each will be released when they are arraigned this week. All the men are Ferris State students, The Grand Rapids Press reported Saturday.

Kevin Courtney, Big Rapids director of public safety, said the counts are ``probably the most serious charges that could have been filed.″

The fraternity is not officially recognized by the university.

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