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Lawsuit: Defunct Univ. Kentucky frat’s culture led to death

September 13, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Relatives of a 4-year-old boy are suing a now defunct University of Kentucky fraternity and its national organization, saying they were responsible for the boy’s death.

News outlets report the lawsuit by Marco Lee Shemwell’s family blames Alpha Tau Omega and its UK chapter for Marco’s death. Police say Marco was fatally struck by Jacob Heil’s car as he waited to cross the street.

The lawsuit says the chapter was previously punished for alcohol violations and was on probation when Heil, then 18, hit Marco in September 2018 after leaving a fraternity beer party.

Alpha Tau Omega closed its UK chapter following the crash.

Heil will stand trial on reckless homicide and DUI charges in April.

The national fraternity released a statement saying it plans to “vigorously defend the lawsuit.”

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