Penn State cleared of criminal charges in student’s suicide

Penn State cleared of criminal charges in student’s suicide
REUTERS/Braham family/Handout via Reuters

A grand jury has cleared Penn State of any criminal wrongdoing in the 2014 suicide of a student, Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Tuesday morning.

Marquise Braham, the son of a prominent television news producer, was a student at Penn State’s Altoona campus when he leapt to his death from the roof of a New York area parking garage.

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“In my family’s opinion, both Penn State and Phi Sigma Kappa severely damaged our son, both physically and mentally, with hazing activities, and even worse, sought to allegedly cover it up by destroying evidence,” Braham’s father said in a statement.

Although the grand jury cleared the universtiy of criminal charges, it underscored issues involved with young students and the university Greek system’s pledging process.

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“As the grand jury makes very clear in its report, it is imperative that we take steps to protect young college students who are experiencing a vulnerable stage in their lives,” Attorney General Kane said. “We must do more to prevent these students from falling victim to dangerous situations when many are acclimating to being on their own for the first time.”

The grand jury’s investigation involved testimony from 11 witnesses, one of which was a fraternity brither of Braham, and two suicide notes.

The grand jury decided the evidence showed “Braham had been contemplating suicide for a long time prior to his death” and that “multiple witnesses further confirmed that Braham, who was the secretary of his fraternity, loved his fraternity brothers and was proud to be a member.”

Matt Lee is a Web producer for Metro New York. He writes about almost everything and anything. Talk to him (or yell at him) on Twitter so he doesn’t feel lonely@mattlee2669.