This was the first real test for Florida's anti-hazing law. It is first time anyone has been sentenced under its guidelines. The judge revealed the fate of Jason Harris and Michael Morton in a packed courtroom.
The judge sentenced Harris and Morton to two years in prison and three years probation after that. Both were convicted in December for their roles in hazing Marcus Jones, a former pledge of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
"It's a serious act and like I told the judge, people have been hurt and it didn't stop. People have died and it hasn't stopped. Now these two young men are going to go to prison for two years," said Assistant State Attorney Frank Allman.
Morton's defense attorney vowed to have the verdict and sentence reversed.
"It is my position that in time these young men are not only going to be released from jail and or prison but they are going to be found not guilty because the statute was not defined with respect to serious bodily injury."
Harris' attorney Richard Alan and Judge Kathleen Dekker repeatedly butted heads throughout the trial and the re-trial, and it happened again at the sentencing. This time the judge slapped a contempt charge against Alan and ordered deputies to cuff him and take him into custody.
Alan's tardiness is one of the reasons for the contempt charge. He showed up late to several proceedings. The judge even refused to release him on his own recognizance, saying he would be late to his court appearance.
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