5 Fraternity Members Charged in Connection With UC Irvine Freshman’s Alcohol Poisoning Death
Five members of a UC Irvine fraternity have been charged in connection with the death of an 18-year-old student who died of alcohol poisoning earlier this year, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office identified the five as Zavier Larenz Brown, 21; Jonathan Anephi Vu, 22; Mohamed Ibragim Kharaev, 21; Caleb Gavin Valleroy, 20; and Jonathan Gabriel Villicana, 21.
All face misdemeanor charges related to the death of Noah Domingo.
The freshman died on Jan. 12 after attending a “Big Brother Night” as part of a rush week event for his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
The coroner ruled the cause of death was accidental acute ethanol intoxication. Domingo was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.331 when he died, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Brown, Vu, Kharaev, Valleroy and Villicana were all members of SAE, and their names were on the lease of the off-campus campus fraternity house in Irvine where the event was held, a DA’s news release stated.
Investigators found no evidence that any of the defendants engaged in hazing in connection with Domingo’s death, according to prosecutors.
Brown, who was Domingo’s “big brother” at the fraternity, faced the most serious charge, a count of furnishing alcohol to a minor causing great bodily injury, the release read.
Vu was also charged with a count of furnishing alcohol to a minor.
All five defendants have been charged with a count of violating the city’s municipal code for allowing a party or gathering where underage drinking is permitted, according to the release.
Brown faces up to 18 months in jail if convicted on all counts, while Vu, Kharaev, Valleroy and Villicana each face a maximum 6-month sentence.
Orange County DA Todd Spitzer noted that current state law only allows prosecutors to file misdemeanor counts in cases involving alcohol being provided to anyone underage.
“The furnishing of alcohol to a minor that results in great bodily injury or death should be a felony, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office is pursuing legislation to make that change,” Spitzer said in the release.