15 fraternity indicted over death of Washington State University student
PULLMAN, Washington – The Whitman County District Attorney has filed criminal charges against 15 current and former members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at Washington State University following the death of a student as a result of an alcohol poisoning.
Samuel Martinez, a 19-year-old freshman from Bellevue, Wash., Died of acute alcohol poisoning on November 12, 2019, after attending a fraternity event, reports said. responsible. The Whitman County coroner ruled the death was accidental.
The men are accused of providing alcohol to one or more engagements during the fraternity event that was part of an initiation process, prosecutor Denis P. Tracy said. Providing alcohol to minors is a serious offense in Washington state punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of $ 5,000.
The 15 suspects were identified as 22-year-old Wesley Oswald; Griffin fish, 21; Maxwell Rovegno, 21; Jaron Selset, 23; Finn Anderson, 21; JosuÃ© Entriken, 20 years old; Luke Hawksford, 22; Jack Kuske, 21; Jacob Lewis, 21; Jeremy McAteer, 22; Cole Peterson, 22; Tyler Kim, 20; Garrett Smith, 21; Cameron Thomas, 21; and Nolan Valcik, 20.
âAlthough the accusations can lead to a certain level of responsibility, it is not fair. It doesn’t bring us closure, âMartinez’s family said in a statement. “We are deeply disappointed that no one is facing a hazing charge in this case.”
âUniversities and national fraternity societies that promote and benefit fraternities must finally be held accountable for the failure of young men in their care and families who entrust their sons to them,â the family said.
In 2020, Martinez’s parents filed a wrongful death complaint against the university and the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity he was pledging to join. Becky Roe, the family’s lawyer, said a civil trial has been set for March 2022.
The fraternities have come under intense scrutiny in recent years, as more and more stories of alcohol-related injuries and hazing-related deaths have emerged.
Adam Oakes, a 19-year-old Virginia Commonwealth University student, died of alcohol poisoning in February after a Delta Chi fraternity party, the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported. His family allege his death was due to hazing, according to NBC Washington. He passed out after drinking, and when friends found him face down on the sofa, half of his face was purple, his cousin said.
No charges have been filed in connection with his death.
And in April, eight people were charged with the death of Stone Foltz, the Ohio student who died earlier this year after an alleged hazing incident at Bowling Green State University.
A grand jury indictment charged six men with manslaughter and two men with hazing, among other charges, after Foltz died of alcohol poisoning following an alleged Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity event on March 4, according to Wood County District Attorney Paul Dobson.
Foltz’s roommates found him unconscious in their apartment and he died in hospital three days later. Foltz’s blood alcohol level was 0.35, more than four times the legal limit, Dobson said.
Pi Kappa Alpha’s chapter was kicked out of Bowling Green State University in April, and the university said in a statement it would never be recognized on campus again.