Search warrant reveals what led up to death of Phillip Dhanens

Local high school grad died In September

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - There are new details in the drinking death of a local teen at a Fresno State fraternity.

A search warrant released on Tuesday showed several members of the Theta Chi fraternity could be held accountable for the death of Phillip Dhanens.

The warrant revealed who bought the alcohol that led up to the death of the 18-year-old and who could be held responsible.

In newly released documents, Theta Chi fraternity members Aaron Raymo and Leonard Serrato are identified as the two who bought the alcohol pledge Dhanens drank the night he died.

Dhanens died Labor Day weekend after after the Fresno County Coroner said excessive alcohol consumption caused his brain to swell.

Investigators said Dhanens went to a Fresno restaurant with fraternity members following a pinning ceremony at the fraternity house on Aug. 31
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Following dinner, all members returned back to the frat, where executive board members took the pledges to the chapter room. They were told they could not leave until they drank all of the liquor in the room.

Board members told police they did not force anyone to drink.

After about 20 minutes, Dhanens is said to have been severely intoxicated and passed out in a chair.

Serrato and Raymo called other fraternity members to carry Dhanens to the "drunk room" and asked a group called the "sober brothers" to watch over him.

Several hours later, members found him unconscious and not breathing.

Two of them started CPR while others called 911. Dhanens died at the hospital Sunday morning.

Following his death, investigators claimed Theta Chi members were uncooperative, and believed the fraternity was withholding information and destroying evidence.

Attorney Mark Kapetan said the district attorney's office could go after a number of charges.

"They could be as insignificant or as minor as involuntary manslaughter, where there's exhibitions of negligence on part of the fraternity brothers, (or ) all the way up to potential murder charges, based on the fact the hazing is a felony," said Kapetan.

So far, no charges have been filed.

Fresno police said they could not comment on the newly released document because the investigation is is ongoing.

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