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Florida judge tosses charges in fraternity pledge’s death

Andrew Coffey

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida judge is dismissing felony hazing charges against four men in the death of a university student.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Circuit Judge Martin Fitzpatrick ruled Friday that prosecutors have not shown clearly how the actions of the four men were connected to the death of fraternity pledge and Florida State University student Andrew Coffey.

Three of the men still have misdemeanor charges pending against them.

State Attorney Jack Campbell is appealing, saying he hopes the appeals court will provide clarity on the state’s felony hazing law.

Coffey, 20, died of alcohol poisoning last November at an off-campus party put on by the now shuttered Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Investigators say he was coerced to drink an entire bottle of bourbon.