Parents Prepare for Sentencing in NIU Hazing Case | NBC Chicago
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Parents Prepare for Sentencing in NIU Hazing Case

Nineteen-year-old pledge David Bogenberger died at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house in 2012 after reportedly consuming 26 vodka shots

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gary and Ruth Bogenberger will read impact statements in court Friday when five fraternity members are sentenced in a case that involves their son's death. NBC Chicago's Rob Stafford reports. (Published Thursday, May 7, 2015)

    For Ruth Bogenberger, the pain of losing her son was greater Thursday than it was the November 2012 day he died.

    "It's cumulative. Every day that I wake up and my son is not in my life is worse than the day before," she said.

    Bogenberger and her husband, Gary Bogenberger, flew to Chicago from their Florida home in advance of Friday's sentencing hearing for the five men charged with felony hazing in a case involving their son's death.

    Nineteen-year-old pledge David Bogenberger died at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house after reportedly consuming 26 vodka shots. Police reports said he and other pledges were pressured to drink by fraternity brothers and humiliated by sorority sisters brought in for a well-planned ritual called "Greek Parents Night."

    An autopsy later done determined that David had suffered a fatal cardiac attack as a result of the excessive drinking. A toxicology report said his blood-alcohol content was 0.351 percent.

    Police arrested 22 students and the Northern Illinois University chapter of the fraternity was ultimately closed. The five men ultimately charged -- Omar Salameh, James Harvey, Patrick Merrill, Alexander Jandick and Steven Libert -- will likely avoid jail time by pleading guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor reckless conduct.

    Ruth and Gary Bogenberger said they'll read their victim impact statements in court with their eyes focused on the five men. 

    The case has brought national attention to excessive drinking and hazing at fraternity and sororities on college campuses. 

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