Attorney Blames Hazing For Nebraska Student’s Attack

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A student’s defense lawyer says hazing rituals at an Omaha fraternity share the blame for his attack on another student.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that 20-year-old Christopher Wheeler is charged with second-degree assault and weapon use on a female Creighton University student in February 2017.

Steve Lefler, Wheeler’s attorney, acknowledged that Wheeler slashed the woman’s neck with a knife. Lefler is seeking to include testimony regarding Phi Kappa Psi fraternity’s hazing practices to illustrate how hazing influenced his client’s actions.

Prosecutors have objected to the hazing defense, citing state law that says intoxication isn’t a defense for criminal conduct.

Lefler argues that intoxication can be a defense if the defendant didn’t voluntarily get drunk.

Fraternity officials have denied any wrongdoing.

Wheeler is scheduled to go on trial in April.

Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com