University of Texas Investigates Fraternity Member's Death

A University of Texas at Austin fraternity is being investigated for possible hazing after one of its pledges fell five stories to his death from a dorm balcony in November.

No charges have been filed against Sigma Alpha Epsilon or its members, and Travis County attorney David Escamilla would not say how many students are being targeted in the probe.

Tyler Cross, an 18-year-old freshman from Marietta, Ga., was found dead Nov. 17 on the front sidewalk of an off-campus dorm. Police said the Sigma Alpha Epilson pledge accidentally fell.

An autopsy report said Cross had a blood alcohol level of 0.19, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Texas.

"We are certainly concerned from our investigation that hazing did take place throughout the school year, including that night," Escamilla said.

A person at the fraternity house said the organization would have no comment.

The death is the second in recent years involving a UT pledge.

In 2005, Lambada Phi Epsilon pledge Phanta "Jack" Phoummarath was found dead in the fraternity's off-campus house. His blood alcohol level was 0.41.

A Travis County grand jury in December indicted three Lambada Phi Epsilon leaders on multiple counts of hazing, and the school revoked the group's status as a student organization until 2011.

UT-Austin spokesman Don Hale said he couldn't comment on whether the university was doing a separate investigation into Cross' death or hazing.