Victim in Wheaton College hazing case denies previously injuring shoulders

  • Benjamin Pettway

    Benjamin Pettway

 
 
Updated 6/26/2018 5:33 PM

Attorneys for the five former Wheaton College football players charged in the 2016 hazing scandal that injured a teammate have long speculated that the victim suffered from pre-existing shoulder injuries, going so far as to subpoena Charles Nagy's medical records.

But attorneys for Benjamin Pettway, of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, one of two remaining men not to plead to charges in the case, have filed a new motion in DuPage County alleging proof of a prior injury may exist on the victim's cellphone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Pettway's attorneys, Lee Davis and Rick Kayne, said Tuesday that Nagy's Wheaton College roommate, Joey Paolina, told their private investigator that before the attack on March 19, 2016, Nagy showed him a video on his phone of a football play in which Nagy was injured in high school.

They allege Nagy told Paolina "that's where I messed up my shoulder," as he played the video. Such video, they say, would prove Nagy lied to investigators about how his labrum were actually torn.

Assistant State's Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Bureau Mike Pawl, however, said Nagy's attorney denied to prosecutors that such video existed and sought a hearing on the matter so Paolina could testify under oath about the video.

Judge Brian Telander ruled there was no need for a hearing and ordered Pettway's attorneys to turn over the private investigator's notes and reports.

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Reached outside court, Nagy's attorney, Terry Ekl, denied Nagy has any such video.

"Nagy never hurt his shoulder prior to the attack by the Wheaton College player. There is no such video," Ekl said. "This is yet another example of a false allegation to try to justify the criminal behavior of Pettway."

In September, a grand jury approved a nine-count indictment against Pettway and four teammates charging them with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint in the hazing of Nagy.

Pettway, Noah Spielman from Columbus, Ohio; Samuel TeBos of Allendale, Michigan; Kyler Kregel of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and James Cooksey of Jacksonville, Florida, were accused of abducting Nagy, now 21, from his dorm on March 19, 2016.

They were accused of putting a pillowcase over Nagy's head and tying him with duct tape before he was placed in a pickup truck and driven to a baseball field near Hawthorne Elementary School in Wheaton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Prosecutors said the defendants repeatedly punched and kicked Nagy, kicked dirt on him and then left him partially nude on the field.

TeBos, Kregal and Spielman have since pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. Cooksey is expected to plead guilty to similar charges on July 16.

Pawl said a similar offer was extended to Pettway but Pettway rejected it, opting to stand trial.

Pettway's next court date is scheduled for Sept. 24. A trial date then likely will be set for early next year.

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