Fraternity hazing ritual leads to murder charges in Pennsylvania

Grand jury recommends murder charges for frat... 01:48

A grand jury is recommending murder charges against five students and lesser charges against 32 others after a hazing that left a student from New York's Baruch College dead.

Police say 19 year old Baruch College freshman Michael Deng died after a "brutal" hazing ritual at a rented home in the Poconos in December of 2013.

Frat brothers face murder charges in 2013 Bar... 03:17

They say Deng and other pledges of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity were engaged in a ritual called the "glass ceiling"-- where they were taken outside, blindfolded, strapped into 30-pound backpacks, then made to run a gauntlet while frat members hit or tackled them.

Grand jury documents show some of those there that night told police Deng "got hit extremely hard, harder than any other pledges..." then complained his head hurt after he was knocked down. Police say Deng was brought inside and left lying unconscious for some 25 minutes, while frat members Googled his symptoms. One told investigators that an ambulance was not called "because someone looked it up and the bill/cost was too high."

By the time Deng was brought to the hospital, he was unresponsive. He died the next day.

"They lied to the police, they hid and tried to hide evidence, and a lot of that was based on trying to cover up and hide the fraternity's involvement in the case," Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Michael Rakaczewski told CBS News.

In a statement, Deng's parents said, "Too many families have been devastated as a result of fraternity hazing..." and that "fraternities and their members must be held accountable..."

Attorneys for two of the men expected to be charged with third-degree murder told CBS News late Tuesday their clients did not commit a crime. One said there's no question this was a terrible tragedy -- but not all tragedies are crimes.