Local News

Fraternity of slain UNC student to keep charter

Posted December 1, 2009 6:10 p.m. EST
Updated December 3, 2009 10:13 a.m. EST

— University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill officials have decided to allow a fraternity whose president was shot and killed by a police officer in August to maintain its charter.

Meanwhile, the Randolph County District Attorney's Office is sifting through information to decide if charges should be filed in the police shooting.

UNC's Fraternity & Sorority Standards Review Board considered revoking the charter for Delta Kappa Epsilon because of repeated violations in the past two years, culminating in alcohol infractions at an August party.

The Greek Judicial Board placed the fraternity on social probation for the 2009-10 school year because of the alcohol infractions, meaning the chapter cannot hold any formals, mixers, tailgate parties or alumni events. The board also shortened the fraternity's pledge period from eight to four weeks.

Chancellor Holden Thorp requested an investigation into Delta Kappa Epsilon following the Aug. 23 death of fraternity president Courtland Smith.

Smith, 21, was killed by an Archdale police officer during a confrontation along southbound Interstate 85 in Randolph County.

In a 911 call, Smith told a dispatcher that he was drunk, had a 9-mm handgun and was trying to kill himself. His parents said investigators told them no weapon was found on Smith or in his SUV.

The State Bureau of Investigation has finished looking into the circumstances of Smith's death and has turned its findings over to local prosecutors.

Smith reportedly left a party at the fraternity house several hours before the shooting. Witnesses reported that alcohol was being served at the party, in violation of policies governing pledge parties.

The UNC review board laid out a detailed plan for Delta Kappa Epsilon to follow in the coming months to educate members and make improvements.