Fifteen members of Washington State University fraternity indicted for alcohol death in 2019

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Outrage as 15 Washington State University students are charged only with ‘providing alcohol to minors’ in hazing death pledge, 19, who was ‘forced to drink gallons of liquor’

  • Sam Martinez, 19, died of alcohol poisoning in Washington State University’s Alpha Tau Omega Chapter in November 2019
  • Fifteen of his fraternity brothers were charged Wednesday with supplying alcohol to minors
  • The Pullman Police Chief had also recommended filing for hazing, but the statute of limitations had already passed
  • Martinez’s family called the lack of more serious charges against the frat members an injustice

Fifteen fraternities at Washington State University have been charged with the 2019 deaths of a pledge who was allegedly forced to drink a full gallon of alcohol.

The Whitman County prosecutor’s office on Wednesday filed charges for “providing alcohol to minors” against 15 current and former members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity — nearly two years after 19-year-old Sam Martinez was found dead of alcohol poisoning after a promise event.

Martinez’s family immediately condemned the news after months of hoping more serious charges, such as hazing and manslaughter, would be brought against the men they believe were responsible for his death.

None of the indicted men have been named publicly.

Sam Martinez, 19, died of alcohol poisoning after a pledge event at Washington State University's Alpha Tau Omega chapter in 2019. Fifteen members of the fraternity were charged in connection with his death on Wednesday.

Sam Martinez, 19, died of alcohol poisoning after a pledge event at Washington State University’s Alpha Tau Omega chapter in 2019. Fifteen members of the fraternity were charged in connection with his death on Wednesday.

“That’s insulting compared to the devastating consequences of their actions, which led directly to Sam’s death, and the loss we will have to live with for the rest of our lives,” Martinez’s family said in a statement obtained by CBS News.

“This is not justice. It does not bring us closure. We are deeply disappointed that no one will be charged with hazing in this case.’

While police had recommended filing a hazing charge in February, the one-year statute of limitations for the crime had already passed, it said. KIRO TV.

Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins told the news channel that the charges, filed nearly two years after Martinez’s death, stemmed from staff shortages within the department and the challenges posed by interviewing so many people, one of whom was many do not attend college. city ​​anymore.

The Alpha Tau Omega house threw a 'Big-Little' party on the night of Martinez's death, with each pledge given 'a half-liter bottle of strong alcohol' to drink, court papers claim

The Alpha Tau Omega house threw a ‘Big-Little’ party on the night of Martinez’s death, with each pledge given ‘a half-liter bottle of strong alcohol’ to drink, court papers claim

The 15 members of the fraternity were charged with only providing alcohol to a minor, a slap on the wrist according to Martinez's family, who pushed for more serious charges for their son's death

The 15 members of the fraternity were charged with only providing alcohol to a minor, a slap on the wrist according to Martinez’s family, who pushed for more serious charges for their son’s death

“The logistics of trying to set up in-person interviews with all the witnesses — many who weren’t at Pullman when we tried to interview them — really added to the timeline of completing this investigation,” Chief Jenkins told CBS affiliate. CREAM.

Martinez’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and the university last year, which found that fraternity pledges were given “a half-gallon bottle of liquor” each at a “Big-Little” event in the United States. student house.

Promises were “instructed to consume the family’s alcoholic ‘drink’ before the end of the evening,” according to CBS.

The lawsuit also revealed that Martinez had lost consciousness at 10:30 p.m., when members of the fraternity moved him to the basement before laying him on his side.

According to the lawsuit, it wasn’t until the morning after that “emergency personnel were finally called but were unable to resuscitate Sam due to the delay. Sam was pronounced dead at the scene,” the lawsuit reads.

An autopsy revealed that Martinez had a blood alcohol level of 0.372.

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