TABC opens investigation into student's death at Texas State

Officials with the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission announced today that they have opened an investigation into the death of Texas State University student Matthew Ellis.

He was found dead in his San Marcos apartment Monday morning.

Agents with TABC have already arrived on the campus of Texas State to start preliminary interviews into the death of Matthew Ellis. The 20-year-old sophomore was found dead Monday morning in his off campus apartment.

Investigators are waiting for a toxicology report but believe Ellis had been drinking at a fraternity event. If that’s proven true, TABC spokesperson Chris Porter told me they will find out where the alcohol came from.

“And once we have those people identified we will look at their practices and policies to determine if they someway violated the law for example selling alcohol to a minor selling alcohol to someone intoxicated,” said Porter.

If the alcohol was purchased legally- even by a frat member who provided it to minors - Porter says the Agency would not go after the organization. “May not necessarily stop the actual, what takes place at the parties, that’s more of a venue of the local police and the university police handling those types of situations,” said Porter.

The university did suspend all fraternity and sorority activities on campus pending a review. That prompted a mixed reaction, which included eggs thrown at the media to a candle light vigil held in the Quad by a group of students.

If alcohol was involved, the death here at Texas State will be the latest in a series of incidents at college campuses across the United States. Some of the cases have resulted in arrests and indictments but the question remains, will it be enough create a culture change on college campuses regarding the abuse of alcohol? 

Students we spoke to had their doubts the deaths will stop excessive drinking.

“College students any young person like my age that’s what they do for fun that’s their way of having fun that’s her way of having fun and enjoying their parties and that goes for just like drugs to not just alcohol so I don’t think it’s gonna make a difference,” said Heaven Williams a freshman from Dallas, Texas.

Finance major Chris Cavasus was a little more hopeful, but only int the short term. “I feel like a few people will say something but probably not enough for anything to change.”

Houston freshman Adama Ferria expects things will remain the same. “So trying to stop a teenager from doing something they would do anyway it’s not going to happen,” said Ferria.

If change doesn’t happen, a more aggressive TABC crackdown on all college campuses across the state of Texas is possible. “Right now that is something we’re looking at, this has happened recently so our leadership is taking this incident into account to determine what our future paths are going to be,” said Porter.

Spokesperson for the San Marcos Police Department said the Ellis case remains under investigation and the toxicology report may take up to six weeks to complete.

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