Hearing for MU hazing defendant Benjamin Karl results in new court date

In requesting a future court date, the attorney for a University of Missouri hazing defendant on Monday said there was "voluminous discovery" he had yet to receive.

The defendant is Benjamin Karl, of Columbia, charged with felony hazing of MU fraternity pledge Danny Santulli in October 2021. His attorney is Benjamin Faber.

Santulli was a pledge to the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, also known as Fiji, during an event known as "pledge dad reveal night." As part of the initiation, he was required to drink a bottle of vodka. During the night, he passed out and became unresponsive.

He was taken to the University of Missouri Hospital emergency room, where personnel resuscitated him.

The brain damage caused by the alcohol poisoning left Santulli unable to walk, see or talk. He's cared for around-the-clock by his family in Minnesota.

Eleven former Fiji members have been charged criminally, including 10 charged with felony hazing.

The police statement which was the basis for the charge against Karl states he was the pledge dad of another pledge. During the night, Karl texted to another fraternity member and defendant that he was "boozing with" his assigned pledge.

"The vast majority of cases will be heard before my client," Faber told Judge Joshua Devine.

Devine set Karl's next court date for May 30.

The fraternity has been kicked off campus and MU has disciplined 13 fraternity members.

University documents obtained through an open records request revealed that hazing and alcohol abuse was common among MU fraternities.

Roger McKinney is the Tribune's education reporter. You can reach him at rmckinney@columbiatribune.com or 573-815-1719. He's on Twitter at @rmckinney9.

This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: Attorney: Most hazing cases will take place before his client's case