Student’s death prompts change at Millersville University

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Testimony began Thursday in the trial of a man accused of fatally beating and strangling his girlfriend in her Millersville University dorm room.

Gregorio Orrostieta, 20, of Kennett Square, is charged with criminal homicide in the February 2015 killing of 18-year-old Karlie Hall of Chadds Ford.

Gregorio Orrostieta
Gregorio Orrostieta

During the first day of testimony, jurors heard the 911 call Orrostieta made to police; a call prosecutors allege was faked after Hall had been dead for hours.

Hall’s death prompted changes at the university.

“I’ve definitely seen the campus in general much more open and embracing to talking about sexual and dating violence,” Jamye Trogus, director for the university’s Center for Health Education and Promotion, told ABC27 News.

Trogus said there is a different feeling on the Lancaster County campus since the freshman’s death.

“Over the past year, I think we’ve experienced a lot of different emotions,” Trogus said. “I think it’s been a very challenging year. We have definitely spent time last year, after Karlie was murdered, looking at what programming and prevention work we were doing and evaluating what we had done and looking at some areas that we could definitely strengthen.”

Karlie Hall
Karlie Hall

In February, the school lined flags across the campus to bring more awareness to dating violence. Trogus said they’ve also improved a website that makes it easier for students to report abuse.

“We’ve had the One Love Foundation provide training to our students,” she said.

In addition to programming, the school also has a visual reminder of what they lost. Earlier this year, a bench and tree on campus were dedicated to Hall.

Trogus said Millersville University has also changed the name of their peer educators to Karlie’s Angels.

“It definitely shows our commitment to continuing to remember Karlie on our campus,” Trogus said. “I think it also helps the students to really connect to why they’re doing what they’re doing, to understand that what they’re doing really matters, and that it can make a difference in the lives of somebody else.”

Orrostieta’s trial is expected to last at least a week.

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