Saturday, October 31, 2009

Did fraternity cultivate "an environment
of animosity towards homeless"?

A jury will decide whether an Oregon State University fraternity is responsible for the shooting of a homeless man.

One of its members, Josh Grimes, shot Dennis Sanderson in the leg in October 2006 with a .22-caliber rifle, aiming from a window of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house. Grimes pleaded guilty and served a sentence of 150 days in jail and three years' probation for the shooting.

Sanderson's attorney, Mark McDougal argued a "nasty dynamic" emerged among the members of the OSU chapter, which led to "an environment of animosity towards homeless." He theorized that if Grimes had never been arrested, the shooting would have become a "badge of honor" for Grimes.

Derek Ashton, who is representing the fraternity, said the suit lacked merit. "What a country," he said. "Anyone who has a couple hundred dollars and an attorney can file a lawsuit."

Jury deliberations resume Monday.

Read the Corvallis News Gazette report here.

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