Judge Recuses Self from WVU Student Hazing Death Case

Aug 25, 2015

A judge has recused himself from a hazing case stemming from a West Virginia University student's death.

Woodburn Hall, West Virginia University.
Credit Richinstead / wikimedia Commons

The Dominion Post reports that Monongalia County Circuit Court Judge Philip Gaujot said he was member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity when he was a college student.

Kappa Sigma members Jordan Hawkins of Hightstown, New Jersey, and Richard William Schwartz of Williamstown, New York, are charged with misdemeanor hazing stemming from the death of 18-year-old Nolan Burch.

Morgantown police say Burch was found unresponsive at the Kappa Sigma house on Nov. 12, 2014, following an initiation ceremony. The freshman from Williamstown, New York died two days later.

Police say Burch's blood alcohol limit was more than six times the legal driving limit.

Judge Susan Tucker has been appointed to replace Gaujot.