Frat Hazers Charged in Deadly Drink

A fraternity hazing ritual called "Brown Bag Night" ended with a dead pledge and four brothers facing charges.

Carson Starkey, 18, of Austin died in December with a blood alcohol level between 0.39 percent and 0.44 percent.

Police say it happened after he drank a bag full of 151 proof Everclear during a pledge event at California Polytechnic State University.

Haithem Ibrahim, 20, of Lafayette, and Zacary Ellis, 22, of San Luis Obispo were charged with felony hazing causing death. Russell Taylor, 22, of Fresno, and Adam Marszal, 21, of Carmichael were charged with misdemeanor hazing.

They all surrendered Thursday.

Starkey was pledging the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, which has since been suspended.

The pledge class of 17 sat with their brown bags, drinking until they were empty. The brothers had laid tarps around their living room, a possible sign they knew the activity was vomit-enducing.

After Starkey passed out, the fraternity brothers put him in a car intending to take him to a hospital. But then he started throwing up and they reconsidered. Instead they took him back to the house.

Ibrahim and Ellis were released on $50,000 bail and face up to three years in state prison if convicted of the felonies. Taylor and Marszal were released on $10,000 bail and face up to a year in county jail if convicted of the misdemeanors.  

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