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Desdunes Trial Attorney Speaks Up

Cornell Hazing Incident

ITHACA (WENY) -- In February of 2011, Cornell Student George Desdunes died, the result of a frat party gone wrong.

On Tuesday, the three men charged in connection with Desdunes' death were acquitted. Now a defense attorney is speaking up, saying hazing played no role in the tragedy.

Attorney Ray Schlather represented Max Haskin, who along with fellow frat pledges Ben Mann and Edward "EJ " Williams" were charged with hazing and unlawfully dealing alcohol with a child.

Schlather says the four day trial proved the defendants were innocent and Desdunes' death was caused by excessive intoxication, not hazing.

"George (Desdunes) had a known reputation for consuming a lot of alcohol and for passing out. He was known as 'blackout George'", says Schlater.

While Haskin, Mann and Williams are legally off the hook, a fourth defendant is not. The local chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity was convicted on all counts.