Four face manslaughter charges in VSU drownings
By Staff Reports
Jun 10, 2013, 13:37
CHESTERFIELD ó Four men charged with hazing in relation to the April 20 drowning of two Virginia State University students now face involuntary manslaughter charges.
On April 20, police said, seven male VSU students attempted to walk through the Appomattox River to complete their initiation into an organization known as Men of Honor. The current swept the students down river; some were pulled to safety and others drifted to shore. Two students, Marvell Edmondson, 19, and Jauwan M. Holmes, 19, were reported missing.
Officials from Chesterfield Police and Fire, Colonial Heights Police and Fire, Virginia State Police and Virginia State University Police searched the river for days using boats, divers and even a helicopter.
On April 22, Edmonsonís body was recovered from the river. He was a freshman at VSU and a graduate of Churchland High School in Portsmouth.
Holmes body was recovered on April 24. He was also a freshman at VSU and a graduate of Bruton High School in York County.
In April, police obtained warrants for hazing for four men, James A. Mackey Sr. of Midlothian, Eriq K. Benson of Quinton, Cory D. Baytop of Newport News and Charles E. Zollicoffer II of Newport News, in relation to the incident. All are affiliated with Men of Honor. Each man faced five counts of hazing and was arrested in April.
On May 20, each of the four men was indicted on two counts of involuntary manslaughter in relation to the incident. Benson has been released on bond and Baytop is still being held at the Chesterfield County Jail. Mackey, who is currently being held at Riverside Regional Jail on unrelated charges, was served with the indictments Wednesday. Through his attorney, Zollicoffer has been advised to turn himself in, but he is currently wanted by police.