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VSU student president says hazing plea was coerced

Wednesday - 5/1/2013, 2:10pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The president of Virginia State University's student government association is asking a judge to set aside his hazing conviction, arguing that he only pleaded guilty because the prosecutor said he wouldn't graduate if he refused.

Brandon Randleman and three others in the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity pleaded guilty April 8 to an August hazing incident involving a student.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/11Xtyxv) reported Wednesday that Randleman's attorney claims the 22-year-old told Petersburg Commonwealth's Attorney Cassandra Conover he was innocent but agreed to plead guilty after the threat was made.

Conover denies the claims.

Randleman is asking that his conviction be tossed and his case be set for trial. Conover and the judge who accepted the pleas have recused themselves from the case.

A hearing is set for May 23.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com


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