University of Rochester

Rochester Review
May–June 2011
Vol. 73, No. 5

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UPDATE Student Found Not Guilty Judge rules that junior Daren Venable acted in self-defense in stabbing.

A Monroe County District judge ruled this spring that junior Daren Venable acted in self-defense when he fatally stabbed fellow junior Jeffrey Bordeaux Jr. during a fight on the Fraternity Quad last winter.

The April ruling by Judge John DeMarco found Venable not guilty of all the charges he faced in the incident.

In electronic messages to the University community, President Joel Seligman acknowledged that criminal trials are difficult for all who are involved in them, but he requested that students, alumni, faculty, and staff respect the verdict.

“No one who was not in the courtroom throughout the entire proceeding can fully appreciate the full extent of evidence that was presented to Judge DeMarco,” Seligman said. “The overarching tragedy remains that our student, Jeffrey Bordeaux Jr., has died. Let me again articulate my sadness and empathy for both families. Regardless of the trial verdict, the death of Jeffrey Bordeaux will weigh heavily on Daren Venable the rest of his life.

“I urge all in our community to respect this verdict, regardless of their feelings,” he said. “Let us also always remember Jeffrey Bordeaux Jr.”

Venable was charged in January after Bordeaux died from stab wounds suffered in a fight at a fraternity house on campus. DeMarco issued his ruling after hearing testimony during a weeklong, nonjury trial.

Sue Stewart, University vice president and general counsel, expects to finish an internal investigation of the incident this spring.

—Scott Hauser