Free Consultations 303-830-0880

Criminal Defense Blog

Hazing Death Leads to Manslaughter Charges: The Law in Colorado

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | May 06, 2015 | 0 Comments

Sometimes, criminal charges are the result of situations that got out of hand. Often, crimes can be unwittingly committed. We found a perfect but sad illustration of this when we read an article about a hazing gone wrong. It resulted in Manslaughter charges for multiple college students. Let's take a look at this situation, and learn more about this crime in Denver, Arapahoe, and Broomfield County.

Accidental Hazing Death

According to the news, a band member passed away after a hazing ritual that went too far. The college band allegedly hazed new members by having them run down the aisle of a bus while other members hit them. Another part of the ritual was to put a cloth over the new band member's nose and mouth and have them answer questions – correct answers gave them time to breathe, wrong answers meant the cloth stayed in place. Apparently, the hazing went too far, because a new band member passed away due to shock from severe bleeding. As a result, 12 people were charged with manslaughter.

Charged with Manslaughter?

Get Help Now!

What is Manslaughter in Colorado?

A person will be charged with Manslaughter – C.R.S. 18-3-104, in Jefferson, Douglas, and Adams County if they:

Recklessly cause the “death of another person,” or intentionally causes or aids another person to “commit suicide.”

As you can see, this definition is quite vague. What does it mean to “recklessly” cause the death of another person? The definition of what is reckless and what is not is often up to the prosecution or the judge in your case.

A manslaughter conviction will have an extremely negative effect on the rest of your life – contact a lawyer to protect your future.

Why You Need a Lawyer for Manslaughter Charges

Situations often get out of hand. This is especially true when alcohol is involved. College parties and hazing can quickly turn deadly. If this happens, people are often overcharged.

For example, 12 college students are facing manslaughter charges. Did each and every one of them inflict injury on the band member who died? How did the investigators know who was on the bus that day? Some fight the charges against them by contacting an aggressive defense attorney to defend them in court. Some kids could be more to blame than others – maybe some of them weren't participating, but rather were sitting in the back of the bus.

If you've been charged with manslaughter, the consequences can be serious. It is charged as a class 4 felony, which carries the possibility of a prison sentence. A felony conviction can lead to difficulty getting a job or finding housing. Don't plead guilty to avoid prison time – fight the charges against you by contacting a the best criminal defense lawyer who will gather witnesses and hire expert witnesses to get you the best possible outcome in your criminal chase.

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one has been charged with manslaughter, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sawyer Legal Group for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future. Request a Free Consultation

Image Credit: Pixabay – JohannesW

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the Denver area, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the top criminal defense lawyers at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future. Request a Free Consultation