In A Flash

LSU president calls for action on underage drinking after student fatality

By: - January 24, 2023 5:00 am
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LSU President William Tate is calling for local bars to take responsibility for underage drinking after the death of a student was linked to four individuals who police said had been drinking at a Tigerland bar. Two of the suspects have been charged with rape.

In a message to the LSU community, Tate shared that four suspects were arrested following an investigation into the death of LSU student Madison Brooks, a 19-year-old sophomore who was fatally struck by a vehicle last week. Three of the suspects were below the legal drinking age but were served alcohol at Reggie’s, according to East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s records.

Kaivon Deondre Washington, 18, and a 17-year-old, who wasn’t identified because of his age, have been charged with third-degree rape. Everett Lee, 28, and Casen Carver, 18, were charged with being principles to third-degree rape.

Police said Brooks left the bar with the four suspects in the early hours of Jan. 15. She reportedly gave different addresses for where she wanted to be dropped off and was eventually let out at a subdivision off Burbank Drive.

Brooks was struck by a vehicle not far from where police said she was dropped off. The driver who hit her was not arrested or suspected of being impaired.

According to WBRZ-TV, the local NAACP chapter is working with attorneys for two of the suspects and claims video evidence will refute claims that Brooks was raped. A third-degree rape charge implies the victim was not capable of giving consent. It is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Tate said LSU administrators will meet with local bar owners to “discuss how their responsibilities directly impact the safety of our students,” adding that he will work openly against any business that doesn’t cooperate with LSU to create a safer environment.

“I am asking the entire Baton Rouge community, from business leaders to citizens, to work together and join us in this effort,” Tate said.

“Our collective grief and outrage cannot be put into mere words,” Tate wrote. “So what can we do? It is time for action. One place to target our attention is the very place where this encounter began.”


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Piper Hutchinson
Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.