SANTA ANA, Calif. – Five members of a University of California, Irvine fraternity have been charged in connection with the alcohol poisoning death of a fellow under aged fraternity member after a party in January.
Zavier Larenz Brown, now 21, Jonathan Anephi Vu, now 22, Mohamed Ibragim Kharaev, now 21, Caleb Gavin Valleroy, now 20, and Jonathan Gabriel Villicana, now 21, were all members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity at UCI and were all on the lease of the off-campus fraternity house in the City of Irvine.
SAE member Noah Domingo, 18, of Irvine, died on January 12, 2019 after drinking with members of his fraternity as part of SAE’s “Big Brother Night.” Domingo had joined the fraternity several months prior, and Brown was Domingo’s “Big Brother” at the fraternity. There was no evidence that any of the defendants in the case engaged in hazing in connection with Domingo’s death.
Brown has been charged with one misdemeanor count of furnishing alcohol to a minor causing great bodily injury. Vu has been charged with one misdemeanor count of furnishing an alcoholic beverage to a minor.
Brown, Vu, Kharaev, Valleroy, and Villicana have all been charged with one misdemeanor count of violating the Irvine Municipal Code for allowing a party or gathering where underage drinking is permitted.
Brown faces a maximum of 18 months in jail if convicted on all counts. Kharaev, Vu, Valleroy, and Villicana all face a maximum of six months in jail if convicted.
”Providing alcohol to those under the legal drinking age is reckless and dangerous, especially in an environment that is notorious for excessive drinking by young people who may not understand the potential risks of their behavior,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Unfortunately, current law prevented prosecutors from filing anything more than a misdemeanor in this case. 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.”
Deputy District Attorney Matt Plunkett of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.