BRYAN, Texas -- Three former Texas A&M University cadets pleaded guilty to the hazing death of a recruit, but their criminal record will be erased if they complete 100 hours of community service, officials said.
Louis Fancher III of San Antonio and Jason Miles and Anthony D'Allesandro, both of Houston, pleaded guilty Monday to hazing in the death of Bruce Goodrich.
In exchange, Brazos County prosecutor Jim Kuboviak agreed to drop charges of criminally negligent homicide. They were to perform 100 hours of public service and pay $320 in fines and court costs.
If the terms of the plea bargain are completed within 90 days, the three will have no criminal record.
Fancher, Miles and D'Allesandro had been accused of taking Goodrich, 20, of Webster, N.Y., on forced exercises at 2:30 a.m. Aug. 30. Goodrich collapsed and died of heatstroke after supposedly being forced to perform each exercise 87 times because he was a member of the class of 1987.
Kuboviak said the plea bargain honored the wishes of Goodrich's father, Ward Goodrich.
'I consulted with him on numerous occasions ... his wishes being that an incident like this did not happen again at Texas A&M University,' Kuboviak said.
Kuboviak also dropped a hazing charge against former cadet leader Gabriel Cuadra, who was found guilty earlier this month of destroying evidence in the case and sentenced to one year probation.
The three former cadets said they were relieved by the plea bargain, but had little else to say. Fancher told reporters he felt that six months of 'living hell' was over.
His father, Louis Fancher Jr., said they did not like plea bargaining, 'but once you survey the risks of continuing this thing, the boys made an intelligent decision.'
'You calculate the risks and take your chances,' the elder Fancher said.
He criticized an 'absolute lack of support' from the Former Students Association and the university.
Of the 36,800 students at A&M, about 2,000 are members of the Corps of Cadets.