Police in Glynn County, Georgia arrested three teenagers and owners of a home on St. Simons Island, weeks after a 19-year-old student was left in a coma.
Glynn County Interim Police Chief O’Neal Jackson III announced the arrests at a press conference on Monday.
James Strother, 46, and Lauren Strother, 56, were arrested Monday morning on charges of contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a minor and other charges. The Strothers own the St. Simons Island house where at least 20 teens attended a wild party on the night of March 21.
Three students were also arrested Monday. Edward Hobby, 17, was charged with battery. Another teen was charged with simple battery and criminal trespass, and the third was charged with possession and use of drug-related objects, Jackson told reporters.
Trent Lehrkamp is recovering after being discharged from a hospital where he was placed on a ventilator in an intensive care unit last month.
The brutal crime outraged residents who said the “minors” responsible for Trent’s medical condition were from prominent families.
The prep school students posted disturbing videos showing their handiwork on Snapchat in March. The videos, which are too graphic to publish, show Trent slumped over in a chair after consuming a large amount of alcohol at a friend’s house on March 21.
Trent “had spray paint all over his body and hair, with a small bruise on his left shoulder,” according to the police report. The teenagers allegedly urinated on him and defecated in his lap.
Four smiling teens are seen standing behind the chair making obscene hand gestures toward the camera.
Residents of Glynn County criticized the district attorney for taking too long to make the arrests and for downplaying the incident.
Glynn County District Attorney Keith Higgins dismissed reports that Trent was tortured, despite the video evidence.
“He was not tortured,” Higgins said on Monday. “Trenton voluntarily drank alcohol until he passed out. No one forced alcohol down his throat or forced him to drink.”
He added that no one urinated or defecated on Lehrkamp and that he was not autistic.
Jackson said Trent had a blood alcohol level nearly six times the legal limit. He was intubated and placed on a ventilator because he was unable to breathe on his own.
Trent’s father, Mark Lehrkamp told police of two previous hazing incidents at the same house. He said his son returned from the friend’s house on March 17 “covered in WD-40, vomit, paint, glue, egg yolk and spray paint,” an incident report shows.
A few weeks prior, Trent suffered a “severe laceration” above his left eye that needed stitches after visiting the same home, his father said.
Mark said Trent went back to the house because he didn’t have many friends.