Date set for hazing trial

Arraignments in the hazing case were held Tuesday morning in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas.

Eight of the nine suspects involved in the alleged Kappa Alpha Psi hazing case entered pleas of not guilty in front of Judge Maureen Sweeney.

According to documents obtained from Sweeney’s court, an initial discovery pretrial will be held Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

The trial, barring delays requested by defense attorneys, will commence on April 30 at 10 a.m.

All eight suspects saw their cases bound over to a grand jury on Feb. 27, which handed up indictments against the group on March 15.

Testimony by Breylon Stubbs, an alleged victim, during cross-examination in February’s preliminary hearing indicated Trey McCune, Wade Hampton and Edward Robertson as having larger roles in the alleged beatings that hospitalized Stubbs twice and left Resean Yancey on a ventilator.

Jerome Justice, Jairus Ford, Michael Charles, Lavell Sharp and Jason Anderson were also charged, but at the Feb. 27 hearing, they waived their rights to a hearing and had their cases bound over to the grand jury, which indicted the five.

Raheem Satterthwaite, the ninth suspect, has yet to turn himself in.

A warrant for his arrest was issued on Feb. 16.

All nine defendants each face two charges of felonious assault, which carry anywhere from two to eight years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine for each charge.

On Feb. 17, Youngstown City Prosecutor Jay Macejko said an additional charge would be pressed on a cooperating witness, but as of Wednesday, no foreseeable date is expected.

County Prosecutor Paul Gains, who is now prosecuting the case, said he was not aware of the city’s pursuing any additional charges.

To avoid any pretrial publicity, Gains was reluctant to comment further, as the case is in its early stages. However, he did mention that he’s seeking justice throughout the process.

Fraternity leaders support Gains’ quest.

“I just want to reinforce that Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and its leadership at all levels takes hazing and other such egregious acts very seriously,” Keith Hunt, executive director of Kappa Alpha Psi, said in an email. “We are continually working together to rid the fraternity of the remnants of this underlying behavior, and again we stand behind the efforts of the university and the Youngstown law enforcement in this matter.”