11 charged in death of Virginia Commonwealth University student

·2 min read

Eleven people have been indicted in the February death of a Virginia Commonwealth University student, Richmond police said Friday. Adam Oakes died at an off-campus house, and his death was attributed to alcohol poisoning by the medical examiner.

Eight of the 11 have been arrested, and the other three are expected to turn themselves in over the coming days, Richmond police said in a statement. Seven were taken into custody by VCU Police and remain at the Richmond Justice Center, where they are being held without bond. Enayat W. Sheikhzad, 22, was taken into custody by Virginia State Police in Prince William County and was released on bond, police said. All eight face misdemeanor charges.

Of the eight, five people — Riley K. McDaniel, 21; Alessandro Medina-Villanueva, 21; Jason B. Mulgrew, 21; Christian G. Rohrbach, 22 and Sheikhzad — were charged with unlawful hazing of a student. The other three — Benjamin J. Corado, 19; Quinn A. Kuby, 22; and Colin G. Tran, 20 — face the same charge, but were also charged with purchasing or giving alcohol to a minor.

From top left: Riley K. McDaniel, 21;  Benjamin J. Corado, 19; Colin G. Tran, 20; Christian G. Rohrbach, 22. From bottom left: Quinn A. Kuby, 22; Jason B. Mulgrew, 21; Alessandro Medina-Villanueva, 21. / Credit: Richmond Police Department
From top left: Riley K. McDaniel, 21; Benjamin J. Corado, 19; Colin G. Tran, 20; Christian G. Rohrbach, 22. From bottom left: Quinn A. Kuby, 22; Jason B. Mulgrew, 21; Alessandro Medina-Villanueva, 21. / Credit: Richmond Police Department

"We are grateful for some measure of justice these charges and arrests may produce, as well as the protection from hazing they may give young, impressionable college students," Oakes' family said in a statement Friday. "The past 7 months have been agonizing for our family. This is the first time these young men have been held accountable for their historically toxic and destructive traditions, manipulation of the VCU disciplinary systems, and for Adam's death."

"Do not tell us these are just 'boys,' Adam was just a boy," the family added. "He had his whole life ahead of him. He will never have the same opportunities or future these young men will. He will never graduate from college, never get married, never have kids, and never have the chance to grow into the person HE was meant to be. They stole that from him. They stole that from us."

Adam Oakes / Credit: GoFundMe
Adam Oakes / Credit: GoFundMe

The 19-year-old student was found unresponsive at an off-campus house in February. Oakes' family told CBS affiliate WTVR-TV that he had just received a bid to join the Delta Chi fraternity.

After Oakes' death, VCU expelled the Delta Chi fraternity, according to CBS affiliate WTVR. The school, located in Richmond, issued a statement Friday saying that it "continues to mourn" Oakes' death.

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