Two men plead guilty in Flushing student’s death

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Two young men pleaded guilty last week to the criminally negligent homicide of a Flushing student who died of alcohol poisoning this spring at SUNY Geneseo.

The pleas ended the last of three criminal cases that arose following the death of Arman Partamian, 19, who died in March after attending a pledge event where the men, former members of a fraternity-like organization at the western New York school, plied him with beer, champagne and vodka.

Devin McClain and Alex Stucki are believed to be the first men to be convicted of a felony homicide charge for a hazing-related death in the state, according to Livingston County District Attorney Tom Moran.

“I am very pleased we were able to get a criminally negligent homicide charge against both of these individuals,” he said. “Hopefully, this conviction and the ramifications of the convictions of the homicide charges ... will have a deterrent effect on the balance of students here at Geneseo and also across the state.”

The men, who faced up to four years in prison, were both sentenced to four months of weekends in jail plus five years of probation. Stucki, who also pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence for removing a T-shirt from the home following Partamian’s death, must complete 500 hours of community service while McClain must do 250 hours.

Moran said the fact the men are now convicted felons is an important part of their sentence that will make the rest of their lives much more difficult.

He said Stucki, who was “an A student” at Geneseo at the time of Partamian’s death, was expelled and is working in construction. McClain was employed at the time at the school’s cafeteria, from which he was promptly fired following his arrest.

Daniel Wech, another former member who was at the Orange Knights’ house that night, Stucki and McClain were charged in March with a number of crimes in connection with Partamian’s death. The homicide charge was dropped against Wech, who pleaded guilty in September to first-degree unlawful dealing with a child, and was sentenced to three months of weekends in jail and payment of a $1,000 fine.

Partamian had a blood alcohol content of between .39 percent and .55 percent, according to autopsy results, when he died March 1 in the headquarters of the group, known as the “PIGS” or “Orange Knights.”

Partamian began the initiation process for joining the PIGS Feb. 19. Less than two weeks later he was found dead.

On Feb. 28, Partamian consumed an excess of liquor and participated in a “beer football” event, during which players drink beer after each play, according to the suit. He then played “dizzy bat, drinking gin, spinning around a bat, running a few yards, then repeating the process,” the suit claims.

Two of the defendants, Orange Knights members Mark Boise and Alex Stucki, allegedly left Partamian unconscious at about 12:30 a.m. March 1 alone on a bed in the PIGS house, and another defendant, Adam C. Brownstein, found Partamian to be unresponsive at 10:45 a.m. that morning and called Stucki, who returned to the house and called 911, according to the suit.

Partamian was pronounced dead by responding medical personnel shortly after 11:13 a.m.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 6:28 pm, October 10, 2011
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