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Nevada brotherhood death: Sigma Nu chapter sued by parents

The parents of an 18-year-old who died after a night of hazing while pledging a fraternity complain the Sigma Nu chapter at the University of Nevada, Reno.

John and Wendy Abele filed a lawsuit in the Second district Court of Nevada, and are looking for damages. The lawsuit points to forms of guilt and sin to the members in leadership positions in the Sigma Nu fraternity where hazing and alcohol policies were not followed, according to the filing.

The lawsuit are distinguishable and identified specific members of the brotherhood who were of legal age. “They knew that the financial statements are false” and “integral parts of the building process that they are designed and implemented.” New members were made to sign documentation stating that hazing was not tolerated, and that they had “neither abuse nor support the abuse of alcohol.” The parents claim that the new commitments to sign these documents, but the existing chapter members do not have any semblance of follow through or abiding by them.

Ryan Abele, 18, died in the fall of 2016 as part of a night where the promises “Big Brothers” are revealed, and heavy drinking ensues. Abele died after a fall down the stairs in the morning, while still in a daze, hitting his head on a concrete wall and going unconscious. Abele’s blood alcohol level was .3 percent, almost four times the legal limit. He died of his injuries twelve days later.

The national council of Sigma Now withdrawn, is the UNR’s charter in January and ordered it to cease the operation immediately. Campus police found no evidence of criminal violations. “The series of events related to this death does not support probable cause for a felony or gross misdemeanor crime,” said University police chief Adam Garcia. The parents are seeking $10,000 in their scheme for medical costs, legal costs and damages.

At the time of Abele the death of the University, gave the following statement: “on the Basis of an investigation by the University’s Office of Student and Behavior, in an attempt to an informal resolution, the University has suspended the activities of the Sigma Nu Fraternity, Delta Xi Chapter at the University of Nevada, Reno and called the result a “loss of recognition” of the chapter by the University for 15 years.

Representatives for the Sigma Nu National Fraternity could not immediately be reached for comment.

“She [sue] goes to the national chapter had some duty to their son that they chapter violated, that they are negligent in their task in a certain way,” said Ron Bamieh, a former officer of justice. He added, prosecutors will need to prove that the national chapter encourages this, or that there have not been disciplined in the correct manner in the past or the knowledge of this kind of behavior.

This case comes in a higher profile incident at Penn State University, where the second Timothy Piazza was the pledge of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He had also fallen down a flight of stairs where he was for an hour. He Later succumbed to his injuries. 18 of the chapters’ members are charged in his death and 8 people with murder.

Andrew Craft is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Las Vegas, Nevada . Follow him on twitter: @AndrewCraft

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