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5 charged in alcohol-fueled death at Bemidji State

BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Beltrami County Attorney's Office has charged five people in connection to the death of a minor who fell from the seventh floor of Bemidji State University's Tamarack Hall in late September.

According to a press release from the Beltrami County Attorney's Office, each of the five individuals has been charged with two counts of gross misdemeanor for furnishing alcohol to minors. Those charged are Bryce Peter Mattson, Jack William Mathison, Aaron Elliot Trebelhorn, Zachary Charles Morse and Jordan Trowbridge Swan.

According to the Bemidji Police Department, officials arrived at BSU in the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 30, where they found 19-year-old Isaac Jon Morris, of Cokato, after he fell from the seventh floor of Tamarack Hall. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Morris died of significant internal head trauma.

Morris was not a student at BSU.

The Bemidji Police Department classified Morris' death as an accident.

Authorities later confirmed Morris had been consuming alcohol at "a large party" before making his way to the BSU dormitory.

Friday's release from County Attorney Dave Hanson said that Mattson, Mathison and Trebelhorn "pooled funds" to purchase beer kegs and then sold cups for attendees to access beer at the party. Morse and Swan also purchased kegs and "provided the location to hold the party."

The information about the charges was released late Friday afternoon; Forum News Service was not able to confirm whether any of the individuals charged were students at BSU.

A search warrant filed during the investigation provided insight to the final moments before Morris died. According to the warrant, a campus safety officer had confronted both Morris and a BSU student about "minor consumption" outside of seventh-floor dorm room, which was registered to the BSU student. The safety officer contacted the Bemidji Police Department, and officers "had just arrived on scene before" Morris was found on the ground.

According to the safety officer, Morris locked the BSU student out of the dorm room after they'd briefly been in the room together. And, after Morris was found on the ground, an officer entered the seventh-floor room and found it vacant.

Jordan Shearer

Jordan Shearer covers crime and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. A Rochester native and Bemidji State grad, he previously spent several years in western Nebraska writing for the Keith County News. Follow him on Twitter @Jmanassa

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