Two members of FAMU’s Alpha Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. received their sentences today.
Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Dekker announced that Jason Harris, 25 and Michael Morton, 23 will each serve 24 months in prison. The judge credited the two with 47 days already served in jail. In addition to jail time they will both serve three years probation and have to attend a four hour hazing class.
Judge Dekker also ordered that the two have no communication with each other or any other greek organization for the three years that they will be on probation.
They will each have to pay $5,000 in fines and $50 in court fees.
After the verdict was read, Richard Keith Allan, the attorney for Harris was arrested for involuntary contempt of court.
Harris of Jacksonville and Morton of Fort Lauderdale, were found guilty of third degree felony hazing Dec. 15.
They have been held in the Leon County Jail since their conviction, and were taken back into custody following the judge’s decision.
Harris and Morton were convicted of beating pledge Marcus Jones to the point that he had to be hospitalized to treat his injuries.
Before Judge Dekker announced her decision concerning the sentences, Lena Gallego, who is Morton’s fiancÃ© and four months pregnant with his child, begged the judge for leniency.
“Your honor, I want to remind you that it is not only Michael’s future on your hands but mine and that of my unborn child,” Gallego said.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush signed Florida Statute, Article 1006.63, Section 2 into law July 2005, making hazing a serious crime when it results in “serious bodily injury or death” toward a victim.
This case was the first challenge of the new law.
Jurors were unable to reach a verdict in the case of the other three defendants: Brian Bowman, 23; Cory Gray, 23; and Marcus Hughes, 21. Judge Dekker declared a mistrial in their cases.
The three will now go back on trial for the third time March 12.
The new trial date was announced at a hearing Monday morning.
For more on this developing story check in with thefamuanonline.com for updates and be sure to pick up a copy of Wednesday’s issue of The Famuan for complete coverage of Monday’s sentencing.