No charges filed in case of Sac State fraternity member’s death

County DA’s decision comes after 6-month police investigation of Will Molina’s death


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The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office decided not to press charges in the fatal shooting of William Molina, a business major and Pi Kappa Alpha member at Sacramento State. 

Molina was shot in the chest and killed by a pellet gun at an “off-campus gathering” in a home on Lycoming Court on April 12, where several Pi Kappa Alpha members resided at the time. The home is referred to as “The Fratican” by members of the fraternity.

Molina was transported to the UC Davis Medical Center and died at 3:40 a.m.

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office said in their report released June 28 that Molina died from a “penetrating pellet wound to chest” after being shot “by another.” The death was ruled a homicide.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, homicide is classified as a “volitional act committed by another person” and does not require intent to kill. 

According to a statement by the Sacramento Police Department sent to The State Hornet, homicide detectives and crime scene investigators took over the investigation after police officers were called to the scene. 

Officers conducted an initial canvas of the area for witnesses and evidence,” the statement said. “Homicide detectives and crime scene investigators were called to the scene to take over the investigation.”

RELATED: Sac State student killed at an ‘off-campus gathering,’ university says

Detectives conducted a six-month investigation of Molina’s death before sending information to the county’s district attorney’s office.

After their review, the district attorney’s office informed the Sacramento Police Department that  based on the totality of the circumstances, “no charges would be filed in this case.”

The State Hornet was unable to obtain investigative reports from Sac PD or the district attorney’s office or the official date of the district attorney’s decision as of the time of publication. 

At the time of Molina’s death, university officials said that they would not be investigating the fraternity aspect of the incident until police concluded their investigation, saying Greek members living together are not monitored by Sac State unless they violate university rules. 

RELATED: Sac State not investigating fraternity aspect of student death

The Lycoming Court residence where Molina was shot is not a registered fraternity house, university officials said. Only one sorority at Sac State, Alpha Phi, has an officially recognized chapter house.

A 2017 California Public Records Act Request filed by The State Hornet, which detailed all cases of reported Greek life punishments between 2015 and 2017, listed four incidents of off-campus, unofficial houses being used as chapter houses for official Greek life events.

“We currently have no reason to believe this incident was a fraternity issue and we’re more concerned with supporting the members of our community who have suffered a heartbreaking loss,” Beth Lesen, associate vice president for Sac State Students Affairs and dean of students, said in April.

Pi Kappa Alpha was on probation at the time of the event, after being removed from campus for violating an earlier probation during an investigation that started in January of 2018. They were reinstated May 31, according to previous reporting by The State Hornet.

Pi Kappa Alpha is currently active on campus, according to Sac State’s Student Organizations & Leadership website.

RELATED: William Molina awarded honorary degree posthumously at Sac State commencement

Additional reporting by Dom Vitiello and Margherita Beale.