Friday, December 2, 2022

3 Pi Alpha Phi members charged in connection with MSU student Phat Nguyen's death

June 9, 2022
<p>Pi Alpha Phi House photographed on Dec. 17, 2021.</p>

Pi Alpha Phi House photographed on Dec. 17, 2021.

Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

Three members — Ethan Tin Cao, Andrew Hoang Nguyen and Hoang John Huu Pham — of Pi Alpha Phi, a disbanded MSU fraternity, are facing criminal charges due to their connection in the death of Phat Nguyen.

Cao, Nguyen and Pham were charged with three misdemeanor counts of hazing resulting in physical injury and one felony count of hazing resulting in death, court documents said.

A felony is punishable by no more than 15 years in prison or a fine of no more than $10,000, or both. The arraignment was held on June 3 in the 54-B District Court.

Phat Nguyen died on Nov. 20 after attending a welcome event at the Pi Alpha Phi fraternity. Three other victims, who were also pledges with Phat Nguyen were passed out and transported to Sparrow Hospital.

Witnesses recounted seeing the victims passed out on two twin mattresses in the basement of the Pi Alpha Phi fraternity with vomit and urine on themselves. East Lansing Police Department, or ELPD, was originally in charge of the case before passing it to the Ingham County Prosecutor's office.

Phat Nguyen's autopsy report confirmed that alcohol intoxication was the cause of death.

In the documents, the court also ordered that all three members not use alcohol, marijuana or illegal substances and not have contact with the three victims.

Following Phat Nguyen's death, Pi Alpha Phi was placed under interim suspension and then revoked on Dec. 9, 2021 for a minimum of 10 years.

MSU deputy spokesperson Dan Olsen said, generally, students who are reported to have been violating university policy are subject to the student conduct system and appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken. Olsen could not confirm or deny whether Cao, Nguyen and Pham were suspended or expelled from the university.


“Certainly, this is a deeply tragic loss to our campus community with the death and passing of Phat Nguyen and his family, friends and loved ones continue to be in our thoughts and prayers,” Olsen said.

East Lansing Police Department and Pi Alpha Phi spokespeople were not available for comment at the time of publication.

General assignment reporter Wajeeha Kamal contributed to the content of this article.

This is a developing story. Stay with The State News for updates.

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