Lee West III: UH Graduate Who Alleged Hazing Settles with Omega Psi Phi

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

The long wait has ended for Lee West III, the University of Houston graduate who had sued Omega Psi Phi over alleged hazing incidents in 2009.

Hair Balls learned today that the case, filed in Harris County in April 2010, had been settled out of court.

Ayesha Mutope-Johnson, who has been representing the West family in the civil suit, confirmed the settlement, but said that she and the West family were going to keep mum on the subject due to a "confidentiality agreement."

As a junior at UH in February 2009, West III pledged the century-old fraternity, one of the country's oldest and most distinguished African-American Greek organizations, because his father, Lee West Jr., had been a proud member of the Q Dogs.

However, West III claimed that his experiences were nothing like his dad's. Along with mental torture, West III said that he and his pledge brothers were repeatedly beaten with a wood board, a baseball bat and a television antenna at the private homes of fraternity members.

These episodes -- along with Omega Psi Phi's violent past -- were chronicled in Houston Press's October 20, 2011 cover story "Sons of Blood and Thunder."

Though Mutope-Johnson declined comment on Monday morning, the Houston-based attorney, during a phone conversation with Hair Balls last month, said that the West family had grown tired of the long and grating wait that sometimes comes with legal proceedings.

The trial had been rescheduled, at the last minute, a handful of times, adding to the agony that West III claimed he had felt ever since the apparent beatings took place.

"I'm a little detached," West III told the Press during a September interview at his father's Grand Prairie home, "but it's still pretty upsetting to think the opportunity was taken away from me."

Follow Hair Balls News on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.