Wheaton College hazing case: Defense attorneys want victim's medical records

  • Plea negotiations are continuing for five suspended Wheaton College football players accused of hazing a former teammate. The players are, top row from left, James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel and Ben Pettway and lower from left, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos.

    Plea negotiations are continuing for five suspended Wheaton College football players accused of hazing a former teammate. The players are, top row from left, James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel and Ben Pettway and lower from left, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos.

 
 
Updated 2/22/2018 4:35 PM

As plea negotiations continue for the five suspended Wheaton College football players accused of hazing a former teammate, attorneys for the men are questioning the legitimacy of injuries suffered by the victim.

Kyler Kregal from Grand Rapids, Michigan; Ben Pettway from Lookout Mountain, Georgia; Noah Spielman from Columbus, Ohio; Samuel TeBos from Allendale, Michigan; and James Cooksey of Jacksonville, Florida, are accused of abducting a teammate from his dorm, putting a pillowcase over his head, tying him with duct tape and leaving him partially nude on a baseball field near Hawthorne Elementary School in Wheaton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In September, a grand jury approved a nine-count indictment against the players, alleging aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint in March 2016. Each of the men has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Terry Ekl, the attorney for the victim, said his client was left with two injured shoulders that required three surgeries. During the car ride to the field, Ekl said, the victim, a freshman, was threatened with sexual violation.

"The defense attorneys are desperate to create a defense," Ekl said Thursday. "The victim has no prior shoulder injuries prior to the violent attack by these defendants. We have offered to submit his records to Judge (Brian) Telander for inspection."

Defense attorneys, however, said in court they intend to subpoena their own copies for Telander to inspect. Anything Telander finds relevant to the case, he will disclose to the parties.

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Paul DeLuca, who represents Kregel, said outside court Thursday the attorneys believe what's contained in the medical records may be integral to getting the charges reduced.

"We've got some witnesses who are telling us (the victim) has had shoulder injuries for a long time," he said. "So we want to look at some records from a Fort Wayne school he attended and a doctor there. We'll see what they tell us."

Attorneys for the men will be back in court on March 14. Telander did not require their clients to attend.

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