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15 charged in alcohol-related death of fraternity pledge in Washington state

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Former members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at Washington State University are being charged in an alcohol-related death of a fraternity pledge in 2019.

A total of 15 former members, who were not named, are being charged with furnishing liquor to one or more minors after the death of Sam Martinez at a party in November 2019, officials said, ABC News reported.

The gross misdemeanor charge is coming from Whitman County prosecutors, who said the 19-year-old was at an “event that was part of an initiation process at the fraternity.”

The charge holds a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

“While the charges may lead to some level of accountability, this is not justice. It does not bring us closure,” the family said after the charges were announced, according to ABC News.

The family says Martinez, a freshman at the time, was “hazed to death” and the charges are “insulting compared to the devastating consequences of their actions.”

The coroner ruled Martinez’s death accidental and the result of alcohol poisoning. He died at 4:30 a.m., and cops were not called until four hours later.

The family says Martinez’s blood alcohol content was at 0.372 when he died.

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