Five men charged in the hazing death of Pi Kappa Phi pledge Andrew Coffey will spend time in jail after pleading guilty on Monday.
Five months after the death of Andrew Coffey, five students charged with hazing were finally back in court.
Christopher Hamlin, John Ray, Brett Birmingham and Kyle Bauer all had plea hearings scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, all of the boys pleased guilty.
Conner Ravelo officially took a plea deal Monday that included jail time. He turned himself into the Leon County Detention Center last month to begin serving.
The Coffey family was present at the hearing and was seated with a victim advocate.
Before sentencing started, a five-minute statement was read by Coffey’s mom, Sandra. She fought back tears as she explained how Andrew’s death has devastated her family. His parents are calling for an end to all fraternity hazing.
After that, Ravelo, Coffey's Big Brother, was the first to step up to the judge. Unlike the other four men, Ravelo was in handcuffs and jail garb. He has already served 20 days in jail as part of his plea.
While there, he turned toward the Coffeys and read an apology he wrote. He said he was “sorry for not thinking” and promised to be “part of the solution,” not the problem.
He plead guilty to two counts of misdemeanor hazing. The judge accepted Ravelo's plea.
After Ravelo's sentencing, Bauer, Hamlin, Ray, and Birmingham followed, all of them pleading guilty to two counts of misdemeanor hazing.
All the men will spend 60 days in jail (except Ravelo, who will spend 30 days because of his cooperation), will be on probation for the next two years, will attend anti-hazing class, will not be allowed to consume alcohol and will be subject to random testing, will write an apology letter to the Coffey family, and will be required to speak about the hazing, Coffey's death, Pi Kappa Phi, and other subjects related to the case when asked to.
Hamlin's attorney asked that his sentence be allowed to be served in Hillsborough County. The judge granted the request provided officials at Hillsborough County Jail approve the request as well. Birmingham's lawyer asked that his sentence be able to be served in either Santa Rosa County or Wakulla County, which the judge also agreed to.
According to his attorney, Ray will be turning himself in by 6 p.m. on Monday to begin serving his sentence.
Everyone else, with the exception of Ravelo and Ray, will turn themselves in by 5 p.m. April 20, 2018. They have 30 days to appeal the sentencing.
The other four defendants will go to trial in June.