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15 Former Fraternity Members Charged in Student Death

June 7, 2021

Fifteen men were charged in connection with the 2019 alcohol poisoning death of a Washington State University student, The New York Times reported.

Samuel Martinez, a freshman at Washington State, died in November 2019 after taking part in a fraternity event, according to prosecutors. He was 19.

The 15 men, who were all members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity when Martinez died, were all charged with supplying liquor to a minor. The charge is punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Martinez’s family said it was “deeply disappointed” that hazing charges were not filed and blamed the Pullman Police Department for letting the statute of limitations for hazing expire.

The family says Martinez and another fraternity pledge were ordered to finish half a gallon of rum between them and that his blood alcohol content was measured at 0.372 after his death.

Martinez’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against the university and the fraternity.

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