TEXAS STATE PLEDGE’S DEATH: Autopsy shows blood alcohol content of 0.38


A Texas State University fraternity pledge found dead in November at an off-campus apartment following a fraternity event had a blood alcohol content of 0.38, according to an autopsy report obtained by the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV.

Matthew McKinley Ellis, 20, had a level that was more than four times the legal limit to drive in Texas. He weighed 153 pounds.

Ellis did not have drugs in his system, according to the report, and his death has been ruled accidental ethanol toxicity by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s office, which performed the autopsy on behalf of Hays County, where Ellis died.

No charges have been filed in his death, which prompted Texas State officials to suspend all Greek activities.

READ: Texas State fraternity was under investigation before pledge’s death

Hays County District Attorney Wes Mau said Friday that “we should be reviewing the case soon to determine whether the evidence in the case justifies further action and if so what further action.”

Anyone who furnished alcohol to Ellis — the drinking age in Texas is 21 — could face charges. Under Texas law, hazing is a misdemeanor unless it results in a death, in which case the charge can be elevated to a felony.

Ellis, who was from Humble, near Houston, was a business administration major. He was pledging Texas State’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, and officials have said he was attending an off-campus social event hosted by the organization the prior evening.

Officials pronounced Ellis dead at the apartment after his friends noticed that he wasn’t breathing and called 911.

His death came about a week after the fraternity’s national organization ordered its Texas State chapter to cease social activities because of an ongoing investigation, university officials confirmed. Texas State began the investigation Oct. 4 based on a complaint it received Sept. 21. The university would not disclose the nature of the complaint.

Ellis was the second Texas State student to die in a little more than a year after attending an off-campus Greek event. In October 2016, 20-year-old Jordin Taylor, a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, was fatally struck and dragged by a bus near Martindale.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Texas jail guard thanks inmates who aided him during heart attack
Texas jail guard thanks inmates who aided him during heart attack

A former Texas jail guard still becomes emotional when he thinks about the day several prisoners helped save his life when he suffered a massive heart attack. “Instead of overtaking me and taking my gun, and killing me or taking a hostage and escaping, they looked at me as a human being,” Gary Grimm told WFAA.  Grimm, 52, was...
San Antonio man arrested after chase, SWAT standoff that closed I-35 in New Braunfels
San Antonio man arrested after chase, SWAT standoff that closed I-35 in New Braunfels

A San Antonio man is in custody Tuesday after a three-hour SWAT standoff with New Braunfels police that shut down Interstate 35 Monday night. Ruben Ramirez Jr., 46, was expected to be booked into the Comal County Jail after authorities said he had robbed a Lowe’s home improvement store and led officers on a chase before the standoff. Police...
Police: Ohio 7th-grader suffers self-inflicted wound after bringing gun to school
Police: Ohio 7th-grader suffers self-inflicted wound after bringing gun to school

A seventh-grader was hospitalized after suffering an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at an Ohio middle school, police said Tuesday. Shortly before 8 a.m., the boy shot himself in a restroom at Jackson Memorial Middle School, Jackson Township police Chief Mark Brink said. Superintendent Christopher DiLoreto said middle school officials will decide...
'Kill the NRA' written across billboard on Louisville interstate
'Kill the NRA' written across billboard on Louisville interstate

A vandalized billboard on a major interstate highway in Kentucky has become a focal point for both sides of the gun control debate in the wake of last week’s shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead. A sign along I-65 in Louisville reads “Kill the NRA,” the Louisville Courier-Journal reported....
TRAFFIC ALERT: Train blocking Oltorf, Mary streets in South Austin
TRAFFIC ALERT: Train blocking Oltorf, Mary streets in South Austin

Traffic delays were expected in South Austin on Tuesday morning after a stalled train blocked both Oltorf and Mary streets just west of South Lamar Boulevard. Drivers were encouraged to find alternate routes through the area. Emergency personnel, including Austin police, had responded to an initial report of a pedestrian being struck, but no one has...
More Stories