Colorado police launch investigation in branding incident

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    Police in Breckenridge, Colo., said Thursday that the department is investigating a January branding incident involving sophomore pre-business major Amon “Chance” Carter as a criminal assault.

    Carter, great-grandson of city icon Amon G. Carter, said last week that he suffered second- and third-degree burns on his buttocks after fellow Kappa Sigma members branded him with a hot coat hanger while he was intoxicated. Carter said the incident took place Jan. 9 during a ski trip in Breckenridge, Colo.

    “While the incident is being investigated as a criminal assault, it has not been determined for certain whether a crime occurred or not,” according to a Breckenridge Police Department press release.

    Investigators are working with Carter through his attorneys and have also been in contact with attorneys representing other students involved to obtain statements and identify every individual who was present and witnessed the incident, according to the press release.

    Investigators also searched a Breckenridge residence on Beavers Drive, interviewed the property management company and the cleaning crew of the residence, according to the press release.

    Mitchell Wilson, national executive director of Kappa Sigma, said the ski trip the fraternity members were on was not an official chapter event.

    Wilson wrote in an e-mail that the fraternity’s own investigations “have determined that this was an individual incident.”

    The fraternity’s investigations concluded that there was no connection between Carter’s branding and his membership in the fraternity, and there was no evidence that it was against his will, Wilson said.

    Jerry Loftin, Carter’s attorney, said he is not sure exactly how many people were there to witness the incident, but he said he thinks the number was between 15 and 20.

    Loftin said it would be up to the Summit County District Attorney’s office, where Breckenridge is located, to determine whether or not there would be criminal charges filed after police conclude their investigation.

    Don Mills, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said Thursday that the university would release a statement early next week regarding the status of the university’s investigation. Mills said he had no further comment regarding the status of the investigation.

    Efforts to contact Carter by telephone on Thursday were unsuccessful.