Local News

Jun 9, 2010 2:08 AM by Steve Adamson

Parents of Carson Starkey speak out in court

Two former Cal Poly students learn their punishment for the 2008 hazing death of Carson Starkey.

As part of a plea agreement, 23-year-old Zacary Ellis of San Luis Obispo and 21-year-old Haithem Ibrahim of Lafayette pleaded no contest to misdemeanor hazing today.

Each will be serving jail time as part of their sentence.

Starkey died in December of 2008, after investigators say he drank too much alcohol at a Sigma Alpha Epsilon pledge event.

Both of Carson Starkey's parents addressed Ellis and Ibrahim before the court.

"Your foolish and reckless behavior has caused our hearts to have a permanent void that will never be filled," said Julia Starkey.

As part of the plea agreement, both Ellis and Ibrahim will be going to jail. Ellis will serve 120 days behind bars, and Ibrahim will serve 45. Their no contest pleas to hazing also mean they'll be placed on probation for three years, pay resititution, and in the case of Ibrahim, participate in Cal Poly's anti-hazing education efforts.

"My hope is that you will honor Carson by learning from his tragic death and help spread the message that hazing is wrong and needs to stop," said Julia Starkey.

An emotional day for in the courtroom, culminated with some fatherly advice.

"One day you may be fathers...if so, please keep Carson alive in your heart, as you love and raise your own children."

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