Note: This story appears in the Tuesday, Dec. 3 newspaper on Page A1.
The final individual named in a criminal case brought by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office has pled innocent to charges concerning alleged hazing and drug abuse in relation to Ohio University student Collin Wiant’s 2018 death.
Joshua Thomas Androsac, 20, of Lewis Center, Ohio, pled innocent to the charges brought against him, which were:
- Permitting Drug Abuse, a felony of the fifth degree;
- Hazing, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree;
- Involuntary Manslaughter, a felony of the first degree;
- Two counts of Trafficking in Harmful Intoxicants, felonies of the fifth degree
- Trafficking in Cocaine, a felony of the fifth degree.
Androsac appeared before Judge Patrick Lang on Dec. 2, 2019 and was released on his own recognizance, with a jury trial tentatively scheduled for Feb. 4, 2020.
As has been reported, Wiant died Nov. 12, 2018 after being found unresponsive at 45 Mill St., Athens, which was an unofficial annex of the Sigma Pi fraternity. He died of asphyxiation due to nitrous oxide ingestion caused by inhaling gas from a container known colloquially as a “whippit.” The Athens County Prosecutor’s Office has alleged the container was purchased at a local business, Silver Serpent Exotic Gifts.
Several of the nine arraigned were also OU students who had been involved in the fraternity, including the chapter president, Elijah Wahib, who pled innocent on Nov. 21 to a slew of charges, many resembling those Androsac is facing, but additionally tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree; assault, a misdemeanor of the first degree; obstructing justice, a felony of the fifth degree; and failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, an unspecified misdemeanor.
In late November, Zachary Herskovitz, 22, pleaded innocent to charges of permitting drug abuse and hazing. He was enrolled at OU from Fall 2016 through Spring 2019. Herskovitz is a resident of western Pennsylvania and is ordered to stay in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Cullin Willi McLaughlin, 20, a current OU student, pleaded innocent to two counts of trafficking in LSD on the same day.
Wahib, Herskovitz and McLaughlin were all released on their own recognizance and jury trials have tentatively been set for Jan. 28, 2020.
Their arraignments follow four others held on Tuesday and Wednesday, including a hearing for James Wanke, the owner of Silver Serpent. He pleaded innocent to charges of involuntary manslaughter, trafficking in harmful intoxicants and improperly dispensing/distributing nitrous oxide.
Two other former OU students, Dominic Figliola and Saxon Angell-Perez, pleaded innocent to hazing and drug-related charges.
Also, Stephen Brent Lewis pleaded innocent to charges of trafficking in harmful intoxicants and improperly dispensing/distributing nitrous oxide.
All were released on bonds of their own recognizance.