Alpha Tau Omega closes University of Kentucky chapter following pledge's DUI arrest in deadly crash

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity has announced it will close its University of Kentucky chapter following an internal investigation.

This comes days after a deadly Saturday crash involving suspended UK student and ATO pledge Jacob Heil, 18. Police say Heil was drinking before the collision which killed 4-year-old Marco Shemwell. Heil told police he left a tailgate before his arrest.

“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, "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.”

UK officials sent a letter to ATO Monday stating the fraternity collected money from members for an unregistered tailgate. Alcohol was served to minors, and pledges were forced to serve alcohol to others.

The University of Kentucky owns the property where the ATO chapter is located. The university will work with students to determine if they want to live in a residence hall or off-campus housing, but the students will not have to leave the house immediately.

Heil had a not guilty plea entered for him Wednesday at an arraignment. His attorney declined to comment on the case.

Alpha Tau Omega awarded its UK chapter with the Top Chapter Award in 2018, recognizing it as the best ATO chapter in the nation.

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