A San Luis Obispo County judge ruled on Tuesday that there was enough evidence to proceed with the trial of Zacary Ellis and Haithem Ibrahim. The two former Cal Poly students are standing trial for the fatal hazing of Carson Starkey. The ruling came after the testimony of other members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon who attended the social event where Starkey died.
The trial of both men will begin Sept. 17. They have both been charged with one felony violation of hazing resulting in death and one misdemeanor violation of providing alcohol to a minor.
Starkey died Dec. 2 after he was given large amounts of alcohol at a Sigma Alpha Epsilon pledge event known as “Brown Bag Night.” Ellis and two other Sigma Alpha Epsilon members allegedly bought the alcohol. Ibrahim was Starkey’s “Big Brother” and reportedly selected the alcohol that he was required to drink for the event.
Ellis allegedly told Starkey and 16 other underage pledges to finish the provided alcohol. The pledges were reportedly drinking in a circle with a trashcan in the middle for vomit. They were also given shots of 151-proof Everclear.
Police said that when Starkey was found unresponsive later in the night a few members of the fraternity started to drive him to the hospital but turned around after he threw up in the car.
Starkey died the next morning of alcohol poisoning. His blood-alcohol content was between .39 and .45 percent.
Tim Miller and Kate McIntyre contributed to this report.