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Homicide, hazing on Monday's court docket

Posted: July 5, 2014 - 2:15pm

Monday’s case load in Faulkner County Circuit Court will include a group of defendants in a hazing case and a man accused of negligent homicide.

Negligent homicide case

Appearing in Second Division Circuit Court will be Eric Orlando Smith, who is charged with negligent homicide.

He was arrested after allegedly driving his car into his girlfriend following a domestic disturbance on May 1 at the 200 Block of South Ash Street. The victim, Angela Smith, 36, was taken by helicopter to Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock, where she died the next day.

Hazing case

Four of the five Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity members arrested in March on suspicion of hazing — Christopher Ozuna, Blake Battles, Deven Dyer and Kevin Nguyen — will all appear Monday in Third Division Circuit Court. The fifth suspect, Rico Spears, is scheduled for a separate court appearance on July 14.

The University of Central Arkansas students were arrested after a victim, a pledge to the fraternity, reported that he and other pledges were paddled, slapped in the face and hit with raw eggs as part of the fraternity’s initiation.

Hazing is defined by Arkansas law as the act of causing physical harm, shame or disgrace upon another student. All Greek participants at UCA are educated on hazing and sign a no-hazing pledge prior to membership intake.

Ozuna, the dean of the pledges, faces a second-degree felony battery charge and four misdemeanor counts of hazing. Battles, Dyer and Nguyen are each charged with four counts of hazing.

(Staff writer Rachel Parker Dickerson can be reached by email at rachel.dickerson@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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