UPDATE (5/18 at 5:30 p.m.)

Two men facing charges in the alcohol-related death of WVU student Nolan Burch have had their cases moved to circuit court.

Jordon Hankins and Richard Schwartz face charges of hazing and conspiracy.

Burch died last November of alcohol poisoning when he had a blood alcohol level of .493.

Schwartz is accused of giving Burch a bottle of liquor for an initiation ceremony at the Kappa Sigma house.

Hankins is accused of overseeing that ceremony.

There is no scheduled date for their cases to be heard in circuit court at this time.


An arrest was made Wednesday in connection with the November 2014 death of West Virginia University student, Nolan Burch.Richard Schwartz, 20, of Williamsville, N.Y., was arrested by the Morgantown Police Department and charged with one count of hazing and one count of conspiracy to commit hazing, according to court documents. 

Schwartz, also a member of Kappa Sigma, was Burch’s “big brother” in the big/little initiation ceremony. He is also from the same hometown as Burch.

Schwartz is accused of providing a bottle of liquor for Burch and also helping carry him back to the fraternity house after he was found unresponsive. Burch later died as a result of acute ethanol intoxication due to his involvement in the fraternity event, according to the criminal complaint. 

WVU issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon after the charges were made:

“West Virginia University officials learned today (Feb. 11) of criminal charges brought by the Morgantown Police against a WVU student in the death of a fellow student, Nolan Burch.

The Nov. 12 medical emergency and subsequent death, reportedly stemmed from a Kappa Sigma “big brother” activity – even though the chapter was not a recognized organization on campus.

‘We are still grieving over Nolan’s untimely death and for his family, who has faced such sadness and loss,’ said Corey Farris, dean of students.

As to the criminal complaint, that is a legal matter that will need to take its course, Farris said.

WVU continues to work with Greek leaders and student organizations on changes that will contribute to a safer and more service and academic–oriented culture.”