A fraternity member at George Mason University has been charged with distributing the LSD a fellow student took before crashing through a fifth-floor window in his dorm and plunging to his death in September, according to court records.
Alejandro Porrata, 19, of Annandale, Va., was indicted by a grand jury in January after the death of Tristan Tanner Medina, 19, of Fredericksburg, Va. Medina’s mother said both were members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
The incident has spawned a separate administrative investigation into Sigma Alpha Epsilon after police discovered university exams on Medina’s computer while investigating his death, according to a search warrant.
Detectives said they also recovered messages showing fraternity members may have improperly maintained a “bank” of university exams that were distributed throughout its membership, according to search warrants. GMU officials say the fraternity is serving an interim suspension while awaiting a disciplinary hearing on the alleged cheating.
Thomas Walsh, Porrata’s attorney, said it was not fair to hold his client responsible for Medina’s death. Authorities allege that Porrata gave Medina the drug three days before he died. Porrata faces a felony drug distribution charge.
“Alejandro Porrata has never been in trouble before, and he is charged with a one-time distribution of a substance to a fellow fraternity brother,” Walsh said. “Then days later, the gentleman decides to commit suicide.”
Medina’s family claims his death was not a suicide, but the result of the effects of the drug.
Court records in the drug distribution case indicate Walsh has subpoenaed files on Medina’s mental health, discipline and other records at George Mason, but Medina’s family and the school are fighting the requests.
They say the files are protected by a health-privacy law and are outside the scope of the criminal case. The case is scheduled to go to trial May 21.