The Sigma Pi house
The Sigma Pi house [File photo]

Three Convicted in 2018 Death of Ohio University Student

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ATHENS, Ohio — Three of the men indicted in relation to the 2018 hazing-related death of an Ohio University student were convicted on some of the charges against them, according to the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.

Dominic Figliola, 21, of Athens, was found guilty Tuesday of misdemeanor hazing and sentenced to one year of probation. Athens County Court of Common Pleas Judge Patrick J. Lang also suspend Figliola’s felony charges of permitting drug abuse, aggravated possession of drugs and misdemeanor failure to comply with underage alcohol laws pending completion of the prosecutor’s Athens County Empowerment (A.C.E.) Program.

Cullen McLaughlin, 21, of Northfield, was convicted on two felony counts of possession of LSD. Judge George P. McCarthy also ordered McLaughlin complete the A.C.E. Program.

Zachary Herskovitz, 22, of Coraopolis, Pa., entered into an agreement to plead guilty to felony permitting drug abuse. Judge McCarthy suspended the guilty plea, pending completion of the A.C.E. Program. McCarthy also convicted Herskovitz of misdemeanor hazing and sentenced him to one year of probation and a fine of $250.

Nine men, including Figliola, McLaughlin and Herskovitz, were indicted in November of last year on charges related to the 2018 death of Collin Wiant. A toxicology report indicated Wiant, a first-year Ohio University student at the time, died of asphyxiation caused by nitrous oxide ingestion.

Wiant’s body was found unresponsive at 45 Mill Street in Athens, a house multiple members of the Sigma Pi Fraternity lived in and used for fraternity activities.

Sigma Pi was expelled from Ohio University in April for “Hazing and Other Violations.”

The trials of the six other defendants are pending.

According to Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn, Figliola, McLaughlin and Herskovitz have agreed to testify against the other parties as part of their convictions.

The case was investigated by the Athens Police Department, Major Crimes Unit and the prosecutor’s office.