||02-02-2006 02:14 PM
UGA Student Dies from Drugs/Alcohol (close to me)
Mix of drugs, alcohol killed UGA student
By ANDREA JONES , KELLY SIMMONS
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 02/02/06 ATHENS — Lewis Rockwell Fish — the popular
19-year-old University of Georgia freshman found dead in his dorm room Jan. 22 — died from a toxic combination of cocaine, heroin and alcohol, UGA police said Wednesday.
Police released the results of Fish's autopsy and issued arrest warrants for three of his Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brothers and four other friends for alcohol- and drug-related offenses on the night Fish died. Police did not charge anyone directly with a role in Fish's death. They also did not spell out the full chain of events on the night he died.
Thomas Stuart Carpenter, 19, a Georgia College & State University student who was with Fish in the hours before his death, will be charged with felony possession of heroin, UGA police Chief Jimmy Williamson said. Carpenter has hired an attorney and has refused to answer further questions, Williamson said.
News that heroin was involved in the student's death shocked many in the UGA community. Meredith McKinney, a junior majoring in advertising, said she doesn't know anyone who has tried heroin at UGA.
"That is very scary stuff," she said. "I can't even believe that."
Heroin use among UGA students is "very, very rare," said Erin English, an alcohol and drug health educator at UGA's health center. Fewer than 1 percent of students polled said they had tried heroin, as opposed to 3 percent who had tried cocaine and 3.6 percent who had said they tried amphetamines, she said. "The biggest issue on this campus is by far alcohol," she said.
The other charges stem from an alcohol-fueled party at a private residence on Riverhill Drive in Athens, where Carpenter and Fish headed after hanging out in Fish's dorm room in Russell Hall on campus, police said. Police searched the residence last week.
Williamson said Wednesday that the event held at the house was a typical college keg party where "everybody knew everybody."
UGA students Mark Eric Olsen, 19; Michael Ian Crocker, 20; Jordan Dugan Redella, 20; and Grayson Hall Gordon, 19, all of Atlanta, face misdemeanor marijuana charges, police said.
Olsen, Crocker and Redella will be charged with furnishing alcohol to persons under age 21 and underage possession of alcohol, both misdemeanors, Williamson said.
Redella and Gordon will be charged with possession of fraudulent identification, a misdemeanor. Redella also will be charged with using his fake ID to buy alcohol.
Williamson said the businesses that sold the alcohol for the party followed procedures and will not face charges.
The students charged are from some of Atlanta's toniest neighborhoods. Most attended private high schools.
Olsen, Croker and Gordon are all members of Fish's fraternity, according to SAE national spokesman Brandon Weghorst.
Two other non-UGA students are also facing charges.
William Chapin Cowan, 19, a Gainesville State College student, will be charged with possession of marijuana, underage possession of alcohol and furnishing alcohol to persons under age 21, Williamson said.
Gene Whitner Milner, a former UGA student who is not enrolled this semester, will be charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug-related objects. According to Athens-Clarke County property records, Milner and his dad, Gene W. Milner of Atlanta, own the Riverhill Drive house where the party took place.
The UGA students may also face disciplinary charges from the university, UGA spokesman Tom Jackson said.
The national chapter of SAE is also looking into the matter, Weghorst said Wednesday, but he said the party was not a fraternity-sponsored event.
"We have been in touch with the chapter's leaders," he said. "We have no reason to believe that the chapter was involved."
The SAE chapter at UGA, founded Dec. 31, 1865, is believed to have been the first fraternity on the Athens campus and is one of the most prominent fraternities nationally. Alumni from UGA have included prominent politicians and business leaders.
Weghorst said the national fraternity was "disheartened" to learn that Fish had drugs in his system.
"All across the country, we talk about the dangers of alcohol and drugs," he said. Fish was dead in his room at Russell Hall when police and paramedics arrived just after 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 22. Carpenter, who was visiting Fish for the weekend, told police he had noticed Fish in distress around 8 a.m. and had gone to the desk at Russell Hall for help.
I didn't post the original story, but a bit more has developed on it.
I live in Creswell, him in Russell. There's a map that might help you see how close I was to everything.