Three former members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, have entered guilty pleas for providing alcohol at an initiation event where a pledge died.
Sam Martinez, 19, died of alcohol poisoning in November 2019, according to the Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Maxwell Rovegno, Cameron Thomas and Nolan Valcik pleaded guilty to one count of furnishing liquor to a minor; they were not accused of supplying alcohol directly to Martinez.
All three were sentenced to serve one day in jail, pay a $500 fine and spend eight months on supervised probation, according to Whitman County District Court records. They also are ordered to complete alcohol and drug information school and a DUI victim’s impact panel.
By law, the charge, a gross misdemeanor, carries a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine.
Rovegno, Thomas and Valcik are three of the 15 students charged by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins told CNN in June that they were not able to charge students with hazing because the statute of limitations expired while they were still working to obtain key evidence.
The attorney for the Martinez family did not return a request for comment from CNN Tuesday evening. In June, the family released a statement saying, “While the charges may lead to some level of accountability, this is not justice. It does not bring us closure.”
In the same statement the family said Martinez’s blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.372 after his death, almost five times the legal limit.
Washington State University has declined to comment on the case. The school is a defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Martinez family.
The Alpha Tau Omega chapter at the university is in “Loss of Recognition” status until May 2026, which means it is not authorized to operate at the school.
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