Lehigh Valley

DA: 'No evidence of criminal conduct' in student's death

'This is not a Penn State case'

EASTON, Pa. - Law enforcement officials on Tuesday shed more light on the investigation into the death of a Lafayette College student in Easton.

During a news conference, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli outlined the events leading up to the September 11 death of McCrae Williams.

Morganelli said Williams' head injuries may have started with a fall Saturday night.

Around noon Saturday, Williams texted a friend that he was starting to drink. He went to a party with boys and girls lacrosse players Saturday afternoon, Morganelli said.

Later Saturday evening, after leaving the party, Williams was in his dorm room with a friend. The friend told investigators Williams was sick in the bathroom when she heard a crash, like he possibly fell, the district attorney said.

Friends checked on Williams, but didn't see any external signs of injury, Morganelli said. The autopsy confirms there were no visible external injuries, Morganelli said.

Several friends checked on Williams throughout the night and the next day, but Williams told them he wanted to continue sleeping and he didn't get up, Morganelli said.

Williams' friends said Sunday evening they decided he should get medical treatment, and tried to take him to the hospital, the DA said.

Williams became combative and fought them, but friends eventually got him in a car, Morganelli said.

The district attorney said the students then called the lacrosse coach, who told them to call 911 instead.

Emergency responders found Williams semi-conscious in the car with his friends, and he was transported to the hospital.

He died at the hospital the next day, September 11.

Morganelli said that, based on the interviews with friends, security footage, text messages, and other evidence, he does not believe there was any criminal conduct involved.

"This is not a Penn State case," Morganelli said, referring to the death of fraternity pledge Tim Piazza after a hazing incident.

He also added there is no evidence to suggest hazing was involved. He also said friends continued checking on him, and did not have any reason to believe Williams needed medical attention.

Williams died from a head injury, the coroner said.

The district attorney said the head injury could have started from the drunken fall Saturday and worsened over the next few days.

The district attorney's office, Easton police and the coroner's office are continuing to investigate.


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