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Report: FSU Fraternity More Concerned About 'Getting In Trouble' Than Saving Coffey's Life

Andrew Coffey, 20, died Nov. 3rd, 2017 during an off-campus party while pledging the FSU Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity

The Florida State University student and fraternity pledge who died at an off-campus party last month had a blood alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit. After two days of testimony and interviews from almost 50 people a grand jury says there is enough evidence for charges to be brought in the death of 20-year-old Pi Kappa Phi pledge, Andrew Coffey.

Coffey died November 3rd while attending a so-called “Big Brother” house party. He reportedly drank a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon and passed out. He was carried from place-to-place before eventually being settled on a futon.

According to the findings, there was an 11-minute delay between an attempt to wake Coffey up the next morning before calls to 911 were made. During that time, text messages and phone calls were exchanged between five fraternity members. The report says fraternity members were, “more concerned about getting in trouble than they were about trying to save Coffey’s life.”

The Grand Jury notes a lack of cooperation from those attending the party and is especially critical of Pi Kappa Phi. Twenty-two pledges and 16 members were interviewed. Most refused to answer questions and only two of the fraternity’s leaders agreed to speak with investigators. Seven others refused.

The grand jury was convened partly in order to compel testimony through the use of its subpoena power. In addition, the report finds much of the testimony the grand jury received appeared to be rehearsed, with people interviewed sounding as if they were reading from scripts, and repeating emphasizing phrases such as the pledges drank “voluntarily”.

That resulted in what the jury says is “elements of conspiracy and obstructionism, surrounding the case.”

There were more than 80 people attending the party and the report says the testimony received shows that most of the pledges and members were more concerned with the fraternity being kicked off campus and/or their own legal liability."

The Grand Jury is recommending the state attorney’s office pursue criminal charges according to the evidence.

Read the full report below:

Presentment - Death of Andrew Coffey 12-19-2017!4!1

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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