Texas

Criminal charges 'likely' after Texas State fraternity pledge found dead

Texas State is the latest school to suspend Greek life following fraternity-related death

On Tuesday, Texas State announced all fraternity and sorority activities were suspended, following the death of 20-year-old Matthew Ellis. The Phi Kappa Psi pledge died Monday. The university is the most recent school to put a halt on all campus G
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On Tuesday, Texas State announced all fraternity and sorority activities were suspended, following the death of 20-year-old Matthew Ellis. The Phi Kappa Psi pledge died Monday. The university is the most recent school to put a halt on all campus G

Authorities will likely seek criminal charges in the death of a Texas State University student who was found unresponsive the day after an off-campus fraternity event, San Marcos police Chief Chase Stapp told the Austin American-Statesman.

Matthew Ellis, 20, was pronounced dead at an off-campus apartment on Monday, officials said. He had attended a Phi Kappa Psi event the night before, and police said alcohol may have been a factor in his death.

Stapp told the Statesman, "I think it's pretty likely we are going to have some kind of criminal case."

Stapp said the investigation could take about six weeks -- until a toxicology report is completed.

Witnesses reported that people had been drinking at the Phi Kappa Psi event, commander Kelly Earnest, a San Marcos police spokeswoman, said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

After Ellis' death, Texas State suspended all fraternity and sorority activities pending a "thorough review" of the campus Greek life system, university president Denise Trauth said in a statement Tuesday.

Texas State had already been investigating Phi Kappa Psi after receiving a complaint against the chapter in September, the Statesman reported. The fraternity's national office had ordered the Texas State chapter last week to cease activities because of the investigation, according to the newspaper.

Last school year, four Texas State fraternities were suspended after a student from Burleson, Jordin Taylor, 20, died after being hit and dragged by a shuttle bus in October following an off-campus party.

Pi Kappa Alpha, Alpha Tau Omega, Kappa Alpha Order and Delta Tau Delta were punished for "alcohol-related policy violations" stemming from the party, school officials said.

Florida State University and Louisiana State University have also suspended Greek life activities this year after student deaths there.

Ryan Osborne: 817-390-7684; Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST

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