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Calif. Fraternity Members Sentenced for Pledge’s Death

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.—Two members of the California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity were sentenced to jail Tuesday after pleading no contest to misdemeanor hazing in connection with the death of one of its pledges.

Carson Starkey was an 18-year-old freshman when he died in December 2008, after drinking at a fraternity event, according to Statesman.com. On Dec. 1, 2008, SAE pledges were taken off campus, including the victim, and were given a bag containing alcoholic beverages. Each pledge was given 90 minutes to finish the alcohol.

Later, fraternity members found Starkey unresponsive and put him in a car, expecting to take him to a hospital; however, when he vomited, they returned home and put him to bed. Several hours later, Starkey was pronounced dead at Sierra Vista Regional Center.

The victim had a blood alcohol level between 0.39 and 0.48, which is the equivalent of surgical anesthesia.

Zacary Ellis, 23, will be placed on probation for three years and must serve 120 days in county jail for his involvement in the incident. Haithem Ibrahim, 21, will also be placed on probation for three years and must serve 45 days in county jail.

Cases against two other SAE members, Russell Taylor, 22, and Adam Marszal, 21, are pending. Taylor is accused of purchasing the alcohol the victim drank; Marszal is accused of taking part in buying the alcohol.

For additional information, click here.


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