Published January 13, 2015
Three fraternity members were indicted Wednesday on hazing charges in the alcohol-related death last year of an 18-year-old pledge.
Phanta "Jack" Phoummarath, a freshman at University of Texas at Austin, was found dead at the Lambda Phi Epsilon house on Dec. 10, 2005.
His family alleges in a lawsuit against the fraternity that pledges were pressured to drink at the party and that someone wrote vulgar graffiti on Phoummarath's body after he passed out. Travis County's chief medical examiner ruled that Phoummarath died of acute alcohol poisoning.
Fraternity president Benny Chan was indicted on seven counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor and 22 counts of hazing. Andrew Nguyen, the fraternity's pledge captain, was indicted on seven counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor and 28 counts of hazing. And Camal Pulukuri was indicted on 14 counts of hazing.
The three men showed a "complete disregard for safety over a several-month period," Travis County attorney David Escamilla said in Wednesday's online edition of the Austin American-Statesman.
Attorneys for the three fraternity members could not immediately be reached for comment.
The university suspended Lambda Phi Epsilon's status as a registered student organization until 2011 after a school investigation.