Alcohol may have played role in death of 20-year old Texas State student following frat party

Matthew Ellis, 20

November 15, 2017 — KTRK San Marcos — Matthew “Matt” Ellis was found dead in an off-campus apartment near Texas State University.  The 20-year-old sophomore from Humble was a 2016 graduate of Atascocita High School, where he played on the tennis team.Ellis was found unresponsive at the apartment complex late Monday morning. Within an hour, he was pronounced dead.

Preliminary findings indicate alcohol may have been a factor in his death, but San Marcos police are awaiting results of a toxicology tests.  “It’s really too early in the investigation so at this point we’re investigating,” San Marcos Police Commander Kelly Bomersbach said. “It’s a very active case. So it’s very presumptive to say that criminal charges are likely.”  Ellis was found by friends shortly after 11 a.m. Nov. 13, and the city said officers were dispatched to the Millennium Apartments around 11:35 a.m. Ellis was declared deceased shortly before 12:30 p.m.

Ellis was a pledge of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at Texas State University. Police said the fraternity had a social gathering on Sunday, hours before Ellis’ body was found.   Texas State University said Wednesday officials were aware of issues with the fraternity.  Last month, a spokesperson said a complaint was filed against Phi Kappa Psi.

Police Chief Chase Stapp told KVUE News and the Austin American-Statesman on Wednesday that charges related to Matthew Ellis’ death are likely based on a preliminary review of evidence in the case.

“I think it is pretty likely we are going to have some kind of criminal case,” Stapp said. “Once we know the complete picture, we will have to have discussions with the district attorney on the most appropriate course of actions.”

The City of San Marcos said that the investigation could take months to resolve and that no charges have been filed in his death as of Wednesday.  “This is an ongoing investigation, and it’s too early to know if criminal charges will be warranted,” Stapp said. “Once all the evidence is known, if we have probable cause to file charges we’ll work with the district attorney’s office to move forward at that time.”

Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth has suspended all Greek fraternity and sorority chapters at Texas State as a result of the tragedy.

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