Four SMU Students Face Criminal Charges in Beating of Rival Fraternity Member

SMU still hasn't released many details about what happened at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house on the night of February 10, just that a student was "assaulted and held against his will" and that the fraternity, which also counts 19-year-old John David Mahaffey as a member, had been temporarily suspended.

The Morning News reported last night that the Dallas County District Attorney's office has brought criminal charges against four students involved in the incident.

Three of the students, 18-year-olds Jared Agnew and Julian Ryles and 19-year-old Benjamin Bechtel, were charged with misdemeanor assault. Ryles and Bechtel, along with 19-year-old Tanner Koch, were also charged with unlawful restraint.

The victim in the case was Daniel Garcia, an SMU freshman and member of Lambda Chi Alpha. His attorney told the News that Sigma Phi Epsilon members punched and kicked him while holding him against his will for nearly four hours, spraying Formula 409 on his cuts, making racial comments, and making ominous references to waterboarding and other forms of torture.

Robert Hinton, Bechtel's defense attorney, claims that Garcia fell down as he fled after spray-painting the front door of the rival frat. SMU has refused to release any police reports associated with the crime, as is its custom.

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