This afternoon, Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) announced they are closing their chapter on UK’s campus following the deadly crash involving UK student Jacob Heil and four-year-old Marco Shemwell.
“Following an investigation conducted by the National Fraternity Alpha Tau Omega has revoked the charter of the University of Kentucky Mu Iota chapter,” the fraternity said in a statement via WKYT, “Violations of the Fraternity’s Health and Safety policy prompted the decision. The chapter is closed and ATO no longer has a presence on campus.”
Heil, the driver, was pledging the fraternity and told police he consumed two beers at a tailgate several hours prior to the accident. On Monday, UK officials sent a letter to ATO stating that the fraternity collected money for and held an unregistered tailgate, where minors consumed alcohol and pledges were forced to serve alcohol to others.
This morning, Heil’s lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf in court to the charge of driving under the influence. Heil blew a .051 BAC at the scene around 2 p.m. The legal limit in Kentucky is a .08 for people over the age of 21, but .02 for someone under 21 like Heil, who is only 18 years old.
In an interview with the Herald-Leader, Heil’s lawyer said his client is “despondent” over Shemwell’s death and that he doesn’t believe Heil veered off the road as the police report said. He also said he was unsure whether Heil was serving as a designated driver for the fraternity, and that he will be speaking with a passenger who was in the car with him at the time of the accident. Hmm.