Nine people, including seven members of the recently expelled Sigma Pi fraternity at Ohio University, have been indicted by an Athens County grand jury in the death of Collin Wiant.

Some of the charges include involuntary manslaughter, hazing and trafficking and drugs.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn announced the indictments today after a grand jury approved charges.

The indictments come after The Columbus Dispatch published a six-part investigation called “Broken Pledge.” The project detailed in text and audio podcasts the severe hazing and death of pledge Collin Wiant at the Epsilon Chapter of the Sigma Pi fraternity at Ohio University.

Those indicted include:

‒ Joshua T. Androsac, 20, of Lewis Center, Ohio, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony; permitting drug abuse, a felony of the fifth degree; hazing, a fourth-degree misdemeanor; and two counts of trafficking in harmful intoxicants, a fifth-degree felony.

‒ Saxon Angell-Perez, of Columbus, indicted for permitting Drug Abuse, a felony of the fifth degree; trafficking in cocaine, a fifth-degree felony; and hazing, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

‒ Dominic A. Figliola, of Athens, indicted for drug trafficking, a fourth-degree felony; permitting drug abuse, a felony of the fifth degree; hazing, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

‒ Corbin M. Gustafson, 22, reckless homicide, a third-degree felony.

‒ Zachary Herskovitz, 22, of Coraopolis, PA, permitting drug abuse, a felony of the fifth degree; hazing, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

‒ Cullen W. McLaughlin, 20, two counts of drug trafficking, both fifth-degree felonies.

‒ Elijah R. Wahib, 22, of Westlake, was charged with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony; obstructing justice, a fifth-degree felony; permitting drug abuse, a fifth-degree and hazing, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, misdemeanor assault and failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, an unspecified misdemeanor.

‒ James Dylan Wanke, 25, who works at the Silver Serpent store in Athens that sold the “whippits” was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, first-degree and third-degree felonies; two counts of trafficking in harmful intoxicants, both fifth-degree felonies; distributing nitrous oxide, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

Wanke will be arraigned Wednesday in Athens County Common Please Court at 9:15 a.m.

‒ Stephan B. Lewis, 27, is charged with trafficking in harmful intoxicants, a fifth-degree felony; improperly dispensing or distributing nitrous oxide, a fourth-degree misdemeanor

“We know this is an important day in the process of making change, to change behavior and make sure this doesn’t happen to any other families,” said Kathleen Wiant, Collin’s mother. “We’re out to save lives and to do that we need to make sure that we bring justice... but especially today we understand that there are no winners and that is heavy on our hearts.”

Ohio University was thrust into the national spotlight after Wiant, an 18-year-old freshman from Dublin, died after collapsing on the floor of an unofficial, off-campus fraternity house on Nov. 12, 2018.

A coroner ruled that Wiant died of asphyxiation due to nitrous oxide ingestion after he inhaled a canister of the gas, also known as a “whippit.”

Listen to Broken Pledge: An investigative series on fraternity hazing

The Athens Police Department, which continues to investigate Wiant’s death, declined to comment.

Sigma Pi pledges were beaten with belts, punched and forced to play tackle football resulting in a significant head injury for one pledge, according to documents and interviews related to the investigation.

Pledges also reported that they were forced to consume alcohol and clean campus bars where Sigma Pi members worked, and Wiant told his brother and former girlfriend that they made him use cocaine.

Gov. Mike DeWine said local law enforcement and prosecutors need the stiffer penalties to serve as a real deterrent for those who continue to use hazing practices in fraternities and sororities, marching bands, athletic teams and other organizations.


The governor said any anti-hazing legislation should not only increase the penalty but also expand the actual legal language of the hazing statute to give prosecutors more leeway to charge someone with a hazing crime.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, echoed some of DeWine’s thoughts and said Wiant’s death was avoidable and tragic.

“No family should have to endure the pain the Wiant family went through in losing their beloved Collin to hazing,” Portman said in an email response to The Dispatch. “There is no place for hazing in our society and that’s why I am proud to support the bipartisan END ALL Hazing Act.

The act is a federal bipartisan proposal that would require colleges and universities to post incidents of hazing that took place on campus or within a student organization on their website.