One of 11 charged in Adam Oakes’ death pleads guilty
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - One of the 11 men charged in the hazing death of VCU freshman Adam Oakes pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges in Richmond Circuit Court on Tuesday morning.
Andrew White, who prosecutors say was identified as Adam Oakes’ “big brother” in Delta Chi, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of hazing and giving alcohol to a minor. His guilty pleas come nearly 10 months after the VCU freshman was found dead in an off-campus house in February.
In court on Tuesday, prosecutors said Oakes was an underground pledge for Delta Chi.
According to prosecutors, Oakes and two other underground pledges were driven to a house on West Clay Street with “their heads down.”
At this location, prosecutors say Adam was given a Solo cup with the fraternity’s “family drink,” which witnesses described as “unusually strong.” Prosecutors said Oakes was told to chug this and drink a handle of Jack Daniels with White.
Prosecutors said Adam Oakes’ BAC was .42%, which is five times the legal driving limit in Virginia.
Defense attorney Stephen Mutnick said White stayed with Adam during the night and cared for him.
In all, 11 people were charged with misdemeanors in connection to Adam’s death in September.
Adam Oakes’ parents and his cousin, Courtney White, attended Tuesday’s plea hearing.
“I grew emotional, but at the same time, I can’t help but think it’s only one of 11. There’s other boys involved, and we still have a very, very long road ahead,” White said after the plea hearing. “This is just our first glimmer of hope in all of this.”
White still feels the pain from her cousin’s death, and questions the accounts of the events leading up to his death.
“A lot of sugarcoating. I felt like when in the reality of it, none of it is going to bring my cousin back,” she said. “It’s not going to make the pain even less.”
The charges Andrew White pleaded guilty to are Class 1 misdemeanors, which could be punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
White hopes for a future of change in the legal system to upgrade hazing to a felony.
“It should never be a misdemeanor to haze someone to death,” she said. “The punishment doesn’t fit the crime.”
Benjamin Corado, another person who was charged in connection to Adam Oakes’ death, also had a procedural hearing on Tuesday. Corado’s case was continued until Feb. 7, 2020.
The following suspects also have future court dates and jury trials:
- Quinn Kuby: Jury trial set for July 18, 2022 at 10 a.m.
- Colin Tran: Term hearing set for Feb. 7, 2022 at 9 a.m.
- Alexander Bradley: Term hearing set for Feb. 7, 2022 at 9 a.m.
- Jason Mulgrew: Term hearing set for Feb. 7, 2022 at 9 a.m.
- Christian Rohrbach: Jury trial set for April 27, 2022 at 10 a.m.
- Riley McDaniel: Term hearing set for Feb. 7, 2022 at 9 a.m.
- Robert Fritz: Term hearing set for Feb. 7, 2022 at 9 a.m.
- Alessandro Medina Villanueva: Term hearing set for Feb. 7, 2022 at 9 a.m.
- Enayat Sheikhzad: Jury trial set for June 22, 2022 at 9 a.m.
Sentencing for Andrew White is scheduled for March 1, 2022, at 9 a.m.
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