Defendants Russell Taylor and Adam Marszal pleaded no contest to misdemeanor hazing in the death of Carson Starkey Thursday morning in a San Luis Obispo County courtroom. They will serve 30 days in county jail, be placed on misdemeanor probation for three years and must serve either 40 hours of community service or give two presentations to students on the dangers of hazing, according to KSBY news article.
Taylor and Marszal were two of four defendants in the case and will report to jail Sept. 17.
Two other defendants, Zachary Ellis and Haithem Ibrahim, were sentenced June 8 to 145 and 45 days respectively in jail after pleading guilty to misdemeanor hazing. They too will also be placed in three years of informal probation.
Starkey, 18, died Dec. 2, 2008 during a fraternity pledge party at Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE). He was found unresponsive at a house after an initiation event called “Brown Bag Night” where pledges were given large quantities of alcohol.
Taylor, Marszal, Ellis and Haithem reportedly tried to take Starkey to the hospital that night but returned back to the home after Starkey began vomiting in the car. The next morning he was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center where his autopsy showed he died of respiratory arrest due to alcohol poisoning and his blood alcohol ratio was between .39 and .45 percent.
Starkey’s death also brought a civil lawsuit between his parents and nine former SAE members including the four being sentenced to jail.