Texas State is the fourth university to suspended Greek Affairs due to student deaths. Some of those universities have legal battles being fought with local chapters.
On Wednesday, San Marcos Police Chief Chase Staap, told reporters that a criminal case could be likely.
Kristi Stark, interim communications director, said if criminal charges were revealed through the investigation, the district attorney would file a case.
However, the autopsy ordered by Judge Maggie Moreno will determine how Ellis passed. Although Initial interview at the scene determined alcohol was involved, investigators are awaiting the toxicology reports from the autopsy. According to Trey Hatt, communications specialist, the investigation could take months.
Florida State, Penn State and Louisiana State are experiencing similar cases and have suspended or restricted their Greek chapters.
The suspension at Florida State comes after Andrew Coffey, a pledge at Pi Kappa Phi, died Nov. 3 after he was found unresponsive at an off-campus party. Police said there were indicators that alcohol may have been a factor, but authorities were waiting for the results of an autopsy before determining a cause of death.
Penn State suspended fraternities and sorties after the death of 19-year old Timothy Piazza. According to video footage, Beta Theta Pi brothers gave a Piazza 18 drinks in less than an hour and a half. On Monday, district attorney, Stacy Miller, filed additional charges against fraternity members involved in the hazing ritual that led to Piazza’s death.
Louisiana State suspended Greek Affairs and continues to ban alcohol at Greek events following the hazing death of 18-year old Maxwell Gruver. As of Nov. 8, 13 of LSU’s 27 fraternities have been removed from campus. Gruver participated in a hazing activity in which pledges of Phi Delta Theta were required to consume alcohol upon answer a question incorrectly.
According to Matt Flores, university spokesperson, the University Police Department is assisting the SMPD in the investigation and will review what happened at the fraternity’s social event, Sunday night.
A week prior to Ellis’ death, the national chapter of Phi Kappa Psi ordered the Texas State chapter to cease its social activities due to an on-going investigation. However, the chapter still held the off-campus social event Sunday night. Ellis was pronounced dead the following morning.