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Boone County Courthouse
The Boone County Courthouse is in downtown Columbia (2019 file photo from 939 the Eagle)

Boone County judge sets January trial date for a Santulli hazing case

Boone County Courthouse
The Boone County Courthouse is in downtown Columbia (2019 file photo from 939 the Eagle)

A former Fiji fraternity member charged with hazing for Columbia’s high-profile 2021 incident involving Danny Santulli will go on trial in January.

21-year-old Benjamin Karl of Columbia is charged with hazing, which is a class D felony.

Boone County Circuit Judge Joshua Calvin Devine has scheduled a three-day jury trial for Karl. Under Judge Devine’s order, the jury will be selected on January 9 in eastern Missouri’s Warren County, before being transported to the Boone County Courthouse for trial. Boone County assistant prosecutor Nick Komoroski and defense attorney Benjamin Faber will deliver opening statements to the jury on January 10 in Columbia.

Santulli’s family members say that he’s blind, following the October 2021 incident. They say he’ll need care for life due to a severe, permanent brain injury.

The incident also triggered anti-hazing legislation this session at the Missouri Capitol from State Rep. Travis Smith (R-Dora), a Mizzou graduate. Representative Smith’s bill did not pass.

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