Seven USC students charged in 2006 hazing incident

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Seven USC students have been arrested in connection with a hazing incident last year, according to police.

A press release states Lexington County Sheriff's Department detectives, the Richland County Sheriff's Department and University of South Carolina Police Department made the arrests in connection with a hazing incident that occurred on Oct. 9, 2006 during a USC fraternity initiation at an off-campus apartment near West Columbia.

Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said detectives arrested Brandon Jerraud Barnes, 21, of Columbia; Brandon Jamal Bomar, 23, of Woodruff; Brandon Elijah Bradley, 22, of Dalzell; Peter Christopher Gaskins, 22, of Lake City; William Levern Henryhand, 21, of Lake City; Travis Reuben Sheffield, 24, of Georgetown; and Larry Bernard Singleton, Jr., 22, of North Charleston.

Each of the seven students was charged with hazing, authorities said.

Lexington County sheriff's deputies arrested Bomar on Wednesday, April 25, Metts said. Bomar was released from the Lexington County Detention Center Wednesday after posting a $1,000 bond.

Barnes, Bradley, Gaskins, Henryhand, Sheffield and Singleton each turned themselves in at Lexington County Sheriff's Department Headquarters on Thursday, April 26, Metts said. The six were being held on Thursday at the Lexington County Detention Center.

Barnes, Bradley, Gaskins, Henryhand, Sheffield and Singleton each are scheduled to appear in court at 3pm on Thursday for bond hearings, Metts said.

Under South Carolina's hazing law, it is illegal to cause physical harm to a person during a fraternity initiation. A person who is convicted of hazing, which is a misdemeanor, faces a maximum punishment of one year in prison and a $500 fine.

Authorities say Barnes, Bomar, Bradley, Gaskins, Henryhand, Sheffield and Singleton on October 9, 2006 assaulted and injured Terry Lyvotte Hall, Jr., who was then 20, during an off-campus initiation meeting for USC students who were pledging membership in the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. The hazing incident occurred at an apartment on Riverbend Drive near West Columbia.

During the initiation meeting, some of the fraternity members charged in the incident strangled Hall with a T-shirt and hit Hall multiple times with a wooden paddle, belt and steel bat, causing numerous injuries, Metts said. Some of the fraternity members charged in the incident also hit Hall more than 100 times on his body with closed fists and open hands.

Hall called an uncle at about 1am on October 10th, 2006 and asked the uncle to drive him to Palmetto Health Baptist Hospital in order to obtain medical treatment for injuries that Hall suffered during the fraternity initiation. Metts said deputies found that Hall had numerous bruises on his upper arms, chest, feet, back and buttocks.

Hall later called the sheriff's department and told deputies that he arrived at the apartment on Riverbend Drive at about 10pm on October 9, 2006 to participate in the fraternity initiation meeting for students who were pledging membership in Phi Beta Sigma, Metts said. After arriving at the apartment, Hall reported that fraternity members blindfolded him and assaulted him. During the assaults, Hall reported that he nearly lost consciousness and lost control of his bowels. An acquaintance took Hall to Hall's home. 

Posted by Bryce Mursch