VIRGINIA

Four charged with hazing in VSU student's death

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PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) - Police arrested three men and sought a fourth Tuesday on hazing charges related to the death of one Virginia State University freshman and the disappearance of another.

The four are connected to an organization known as "Men of Honor" that conducted an initiation Saturday that required seven male VSU students to walk through the swift, rain-swollen Appomattox River, police said.

While some were pulled to safety, two were swept away by the rapids.

The body of one, identified Tuesday as Marvell Edmonson, 19, of Portsmouth, was recovered Monday. The search continued Tuesday for the second, Jauwan M. Holmes, 19, of Newport News.

Chesterfield County police said the three in custody are: James A. Mackey Sr., 35, of suburban Richmond; Eriq K. Benson, 19, of Quinton; and Cory D. Baytop, 26, of Newport News. Each has been charged with five counts of hazing. Police were seeking Charles E. Zollicoffer II, 29. An address was not provided.

Benson and Baytop are VSU students.

Benson's attorney did not immediately return a telephone message. It was not clear if the other suspects had attorneys.

Police Lt. Randy Horowitz described Men of Honor as a social club or "group whose mission is to build the character of young men." He said he was not familiar with the organization beyond that, and said it was not sanctioned by VSU.

The historically black university has about 6,000 students in Ettrick, about 25 miles south of Richmond. A message left with a school spokesman was not immediately returned.

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