Two members of the Alpha Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. were found guilty on felony hazing charges Friday for beating a pledge with wooden canes.
Jason Harris, 23 of Jacksonville and Michael Morton, 23 of Fort Lauderdale were convicted. The jury was unable to reach a verdict concerning the other three KappaAlpha Psi members on trial.
Circuit Judge Kathleen Dekker declared a mistrial in the cases of Brian Bowman, 23, of Oakland, Calif.; Cory Gray, 23, of Montgomery, Ala.; and Marcus Hughes, 21, of Fort Lauderdale.
The jury deliberated for more than six hours before deciding the case.
Morton, a former Kappa Alpha Psi chapter president, was accused of striking Marcus Jones, 20, of Decatur, Ga., on the buttocks, while Harris was accused of facilitating the alleged hazing. The other three defendants also allegedly hit Jones with canes.
Both Morton and Harris will be held in jail until they are sentenced, but both defense attorneys in the case have said they will ask that their clients be released while their cases are appealed.
The penalties range from probation to five years in prison. Dekker set a status hearing for Jan. 22 to receive pre-sentence investigation reports but did not immediately set a sentencing date.
There is no decision yet on whether the State Attorney’s Office will try the other fraternity brothers a third time.
Some information in this report gathered from the Associated Press.
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