Wheaton College hazing case heading to trial

One of the Wheaton college football players accused of hazing and beating a teammate says he's going to take his chances going to trial.

Benjamin Pettway rejected a plea deal that four of his fellow defendants took.

Four of the five Wheaton college football players accused of taking part in a brutal hazing attack in 2016 have agreed to a plea deal, reducing felony charges to a single misdemeanor charge of battery.

But on Tuesday, lawyers for former player Benjamin Pettway told a DuPage County judge that Pettway plans to take his case to trial -- a potentially risky strategy.

"It's not only risky it's stupid,” said Terry Ekl, the victim’s attorney.

Attorney Terry Ekl represents the victim of that attack -- former Wheaton college football player Charles Nagy.

Police say his five teammates duct taped Nagy in his dorm room against his will, in the process tearing the labrum in both shoulders. Police say they drove Nagy around terrorizing him, before dumping him partially clothed in a nearby field.

Ekl says Pettway is making a mistake by not taking the plea deal.

"Because he has so much to lose. There's a big difference between being a convicted felon and having a misdemeanor conviction on your record,” Ekl said.

Also in court Tuesday, Pettway's attorney argued Nagy's injuries were actually caused by a previous high school football injury and asked for a copy of tape supposedly showing the play. Ekl says they've already provided medical records showing there was no previous injury.

"Now they're raising the issue that there's supposedly a video of an event that never took place. And I can tell you there is no such video,” Ekl said.

If the case eventually goes to trial, attorneys indicate it probably won't happen until 2019.

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