‘I hope that no other parent has to get that phone call’
RICHMOND – The mother of an Eastern Kentucky University student who was allegedly hazed while he attempted to enter a fraternity said she is fortunate that her son lived through the experience.
Renea Houston, the mother of Brent Whiteside, said Thursday that fraternities seem unable to police themselves when pledging new members.
“What was supposed to be a positive experience turned negative,” she said.
Whiteside, 23, was hospitalized March 8 after he sought membership into EKU’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
EKU students Thomas Barnes, 21, and Gabriel M. McLaren, 22, and alumnus Alonzo C. McGill, 32, have been charged with fourth-degree assault in the case.
Richmond Police say the three men struck Whiteside with their fists, a paddle and a cane, causing kidney failure. He spent several days in Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington.
Barnes, McLaren and McGill have pleaded not guilty to the charge.
On Thursday, attorneys for the three men entered a motion to dismiss the case and change the venue, along with a motion requesting more information about Whiteside’s allegations.
Barnes and McLaren declined to comment on the advice of their attorneys. McGill, who is a New York resident, was not present in court.
Whiteside declined to comment Thursday.
Houston said there needs to be harsher penalties for hazing charges in Kentucky.
The experience has been difficult for her as a parent, Houston said.
“I hope that no other parent has to get that phone call,” she said.
A pretrial hearing in the case will take place at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 26. Whiteside will be called as a witness.