3 frat members charged in pledge's drinking death

3 frat members charged in pledge's drinking death

FRESNO, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Three fraternity members face misdemeanor charges in the drinking death of a Bakersfield teenager.

Philip Dhanens, an 18-year-old pledge, drank to the point of death during an August pinning ceremony at the now-shuttered Theta Chi Fraternity at California State University, Fresno.

Louis Serrato, 28; Aaron Joseph Raymo, 24; and Daniel Woodard Baker, 22; face charges of hazing and providing alcohol to a person under 21 years of age proximately causing death, according to the Fresno County District Attorney's Office.

The criminal complaint was filed Tuesday. If convicted, each defendant faces possibly six months to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Dhanens, a recent graduate of Bakersfield's Garces Memorial High School, reportedly drank so much alcohol that he passed out and was carried to the fraternity's "drunk room." He later died of acute alcohol poisoning.

District Attorney Elizabeth Egan said Tuesday that Dhanens' blood-alcohol content reached .40, a toxic amount that is more than five times the legal driving limit.