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Ellis autopsy reveals death by toxicity

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Phi Kappa Psi frat house
The Phi Kappa Psi Greek letters can no longer be seen on the fraternity house.

Photo by Marina Bustillo-Mendoza | Staff Photographer

The death of student and fraternity pledge Matthew Ellis was ruled as an accidental ethanol toxicity, according to the autopsy report done by the Travis County Medical Examiner Office.

The autopsy report states Ellis’ blood alcohol content level was 0.34 and his vitreous fluid contained 0.38 percent of alcohol.

Ellis, a Phi Kappa Psi pledge, died last November following an off-campus initiation party. As a result of this incident, all Greek Life organizations were suspended and a task force was formed to review the whole system. Ellis is the second student to die as a result of an off-campus Greek event. Jordin Taylor, a member of Alpha Delta Pi, lost her life in October 2016.

Satish Chundru, deputy chief medical examiner, found moderate pulmonary edema, a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs, and foamy fluid in the trachea as results of Ellis’ intoxication.

Wes Mau, district attorney for Hays County, is in charge of all the cases brought before the county. Mau has yet to read Ellis’ case.

“I will not be able to comment on the case until criminal charges have been pressed, which the court has yet to do. The case is still under investigation at the moment,” Mau said.

Although the city is still investigating the incident along with the help of the San Marcos Police Department, Texas State is not doing its own investigation because Ellis’ death occurred off-campus, putting this out of the school’s jurisdiction.

The drinking age in Texas is 21 years old and providing alcohol to an underage person is a class B misdemeanor. However, if criminal charges were to be pressed, the charges could become either second or third-degree felonies, according to Texas law.

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