November 15, 2017 – CBSAustin – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has opened an investigation in the death of a Texas State University student earlier this week. Matthew McKinley Ellis, 20, was found dead Monday morning at an off-campus apartment. Police say alcohol may have been a factor in his death. TABC is working with San Marcos investigators to determine the source of any alcohol that may have been involved in Ellis’ death.
“If it is found that alcohol played a role in this event, we will expand our investigation to identify any retailers who may have violated the law by selling to a minor or an intoxicated person,” TABC Executive Director A. Bentley Nettles said. “These violations constitute an extremely serious risk to public safety, and TABC will punish any parties involved to the fullest extent of the law.”
Selling alcohol to a minor or intoxicated person can result in penalties up to and including cancellation of a business’s liquor license, TABC says, as well as jail time for the employee who made the sale. TABC Chairman Kevin J. Lilly said the commission is committed to educating the public on the dangers of binge drinking. “So-called ‘traditions,’ such as forcing a fraternity pledge to over-consume alcohol, have no place at a university,” Lilly said. “Regardless of the outcome of this investigation, TABC will proactively work with universities and law enforcement across Texas to combat and raise awareness of this senseless activity.” So far, no charges have been filed in Ellis’ death.