Two Hobart lacrosse players charged in connection with the death of a fellow teammate pleaded guilty in Geneva City Court Thursday.
Bradley Hester, 22 of Virginia and Matthew Smalley, 23 of Rhode Island pleaded guilty to misdemeanor unlawfully dealing with a child.
The Hobart College seniors did not want to talk on camera.
Both men were charged after their teammate and friend, Warren Kimber IV was found dead inside a bedroom in their off-campus apartment house January 31. Hester and Smalley hosted a party for lacrosse players just the night before.
The Ontario County District Attorney said Kimber's blood alcohol level was .29 percent. The district attorney believes the alcohol alone was not enough to kill Kimber. He said toxicology reports revealed Kimber also had the narcotic drug oxycodone in his blood.
Smalley told police, “Several people noticed that he was feeling under the weather. He seemed incoherent so we put him in my bedroom.” Smalley told police he and another teammate helped Kimber into his bed.
"It was the feeling of the deceased student’s family that their son was ultimately responsible for his demise because of his own actions. It's a sad situation. These two kids provided alcohol for the party and there has to be some responsibility for that," Assistant District Attorney William Hart said.
"I think their guilty plea today speaks for itself,” Defense Attorney Scott Porter said. “They came in and they accepted the responsibility for providing the alcohol. That speaks for itself."
Hester and Smalley are expected back in court August 6 for sentencing. The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges e-mailed R News this statement: “Hobart and William Smith Colleges continue to grieve the loss of Warren “Kim” Kimber ’11. We have cooperated with the Geneva Police Department and the Ontario County District Attorney’s Office in their investigation. The conclusions reached in the District Attorney’s investigation shed light on this tragic death. As an institution of higher education, we will learn from this event and will incorporate those lessons into further programming for all of our students.”