On November 2nd, 2017, Andrew Coffey, a pledge of Pi Kappa Phi at Florida State University, attended an off-campus fraternity and was found unresponsive on the morning of November 3rd. He was later pronounced dead by police. All nine of the students who were charged in Coffey’s death have been offered a plea deal.
According to reports, Tallahassee State Attorney Jack Campbell laid out the parameters of the offers to several defense attorneys in an email on Monday, March 5.
The email, which was obtained through a public records request, outlines two plea deals for the defendants. The first option is that they plead guilty to two counts of misdemeanor hazing with adjudication withheld, spend 60 days in the Leon County jail, followed by two years of probation, be required to testify or publicly speak about Coffey’s death at every forum requested, take a hazing awareness class, be prohibited from alcohol with random testing and provide a written or verbal apology to the Coffey family.
The second option is the same, however, those charged would be able to plead guilty to one count of felony hazing and complete 60 days in the Leon County Sheriff’s Office jail work camp instead of serving jail time.
The students who were charged are Luke Kluttz, Clayton Muehlstein, Brett Birmingham, Conner Ravelo, Christopher Hamlin, Anthony Petagine, Anthony Oppenheimer, John Ray and Kyle Bauer.
via ABC 10:
“I think this allows your clients to both accept responsibility and avoid lifelong consequences,” Campbell wrote. “The Coffey family has been consulted. … Ultimately, the plea also serves the greater goal of changing a culture that condones hazing and binge drinking.”
Attorneys for the defendants have until April 1 to accept the offers, which would also expire if they file motions in the case, Campbell wrote. Campbell declined to discuss the plea offers to the Tallahassee Democrat.
“Like most cases, there are plea negotiations and this one is no different,” Campbell told the newspaper. “I want to try the case in a courtroom. I don’t want to do it through the media.”
According to Tallahassee police, Coffey, from Pompano Beach, was found on the morning of Friday, November 3 at 10:23 AM EST after the Tallahassee Police Department received a call about an unresponsive person at a home on Buena Vista Drive. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Pi Kappa Phi national fraternity revoked the charter for the FSU chapter less than a week later and Florida State University President John Thrasher announced the indefinite suspension of all fraternities and sororities at the school.
The state medical examiner said that Coffey had a blood alcohol level of .447 at the time of the autopsy.