defense trying to ‘deposition cases to death’
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defense trying to ‘deposition cases to death’

Former University of Missouri Fiji pledge Daniel Santulli is back in the care of his parents, but his condition hasn't improved, the family's attorney said.

Former University of Missouri Fiji pledge Daniel Santulli is back in the care of his parents, but his condition hasn’t improved, the family’s attorney said.

The attorney for the only defendant charged with a misdemeanor related to the hazing of former University of Missouri student Danny Santulli said he can’t get in touch with a Boone County prosecuting attorney because he’s busy in deposits.

Santulli in thedanny-santulli-hazing-anniversary-marked-by-candles-statements/69573985007/” data-ylk=”slk:October 2021 hazing incident at Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house” class=”link “> October 2021 hazing incident at Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house was required to drink a bottle of vodka and got alcohol poisoning. The related brain damage left Santulli without the ability to see, walk or talk.

He’s being cared for by his family in Minnesota, and his father, Tom Santulli, said by phone Tuesday they have seen small improvements in Santulli after 40 treatments in a hyperbaric chamber.

“We do see some little changes with Danny,” his father said after the treatments, “He’s much more connected to us. One thing is that he’ll get emotional, he’ll have some tears every day.”

They are there to comfort him, but it’s a positive sign that their son is expressing emotions, Santulli said.

Stem cell treatments will start soon, he said.

“We’re going to explore everything possible,” Santulli said.

Danny Santulli’s treatments and around-the-clock care are being paid for from settlements in civil lawsuits.

There’s a bill in the Missouri legislature, Danny’s law, which will provide immunity from anyone making a 911 call informing authorities of a hazing incident, Santulli said.

“Everyone’s trying to make a difference in stopping hazing,” said Santulli of the bill.

It made no sense that none of the fraternity members called 911, even though they were texting each other, Santulli said.

Alec Wetzler, of St. Louis, is charged with misdemeanor supplying liquor to a minor or intoxicated person and misdemeanor purchasing or possessing liquor by a minor. His attorney is Rusty Antel.

Students gather to honor Danny Santulli on the one-year anniversary of his hospitalization on Wednesday, Oct.  19, 2022, at Peace Park on the University of Missouri campus.

Students gather to honor Danny Santulli on the one-year anniversary of his hospitalization on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, at Peace Park on the University of Missouri campus.

District Judge Stephanie Morrell noted the case was 266 days old. She asked Antel to provide her with the short version of his remarks during Tuesday’s hearing

santulli/69523162007/” data-ylk=”slk:This is related to about 10 felonies” class=”link “>This is related to about 10 felons,” Antel said. “The defense is trying to deposit the cases to death.”

That’s the reason he hasn’t been able to reach a resolution in his client’s case, Antel said.

The next hearing was set for 9 am March 7, by which time Antel told the judges they should have a resolution.

In another courtroom, attorney Benjamin Faber argued for a change of venue for his client, former Fiji member Benjamin Karl, of Columbia. Karl is charged with felony haze, alleging the situation endangered Santulli’s life.

Faber seeks to bring in a jury from another county.

“There’s a number of co-defendants and there’s been extensive media coverage,” Faber said of reasons a Boone County jury may not be able to provide a fair trial.

“The attention the case is receiving on social media is overwhelmingly negative,” Faber said.

The prosecution didn’t object to Faber’s motion. District Judge Joshua Devine said he needed to work out logistics with another county, recalling that Judge Jeff Harris is bringing a jury in from Greene County.

“Obviously, the motion is going to be granted,” Devine said.

The judge scheduled Karl’s next court hearing for 10 am March 20. The slow pace of the criminal justice system is difficult, but that’s not their main focus, Santulli said.

“Our focus is on Danny first and foremost,” his father said. “That’s our focus. Hopefully, the law will follow.”

The fraternity has been kicked off campus. MU has disciplined several members.

One fraternity member who was involved in a civil case, but not criminally charged, has been in touch with the family and expressed remorse, Santulli said.

“That means a lot,” he said of the fraternity member.

He said he knows the members charged with crimes have attorneys telling them not to talk, but it still hurts.

Roger McKinney is the Tribune’s education reporter, You can reach him at [email protected] or 573-815-1719. He’s on Twitter at @rmckinney9.

This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: As legal hearings continue, Danny Santulli’s family are focused on him

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