2 plead not guilty in fatal fall of ASU student - Tucson News Now

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2 plead not guilty in fatal fall of ASU student

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Kansas woman dies after falling from the 10th floor of a Tempe apartment. (Source: CBS 5 News) Kansas woman dies after falling from the 10th floor of a Tempe apartment. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Naomi McClendon (Source: Facebook) Naomi McClendon (Source: Facebook)
(Source: Facebook) (Source: Facebook)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Two men accused of alcohol-related violations in connection with the fatal fall of an Arizona State University student have pleaded not guilty.

David Siegel and Matthew Farberov appeared Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court in the case of Naomi McClendon.

The 18-year-old woman from Manhattan, KS, plunged 10 floors to her death March 30 from an apartment complex near ASU's campus.

Siegal and Farberov, both 20, are charged with minor possession of liquor and failing to require identification.

Another defendant, 21-year-old Alex Kraus, faces the same charges but now lives in New Jersey. A judge reset his court appearance for Oct. 16.

The Arizona Department of Liquor License and Control conducted the investigation.

Tempe Police Lt. Mike Pooley said detectives said McClendon was at a unofficial, all-you-can-drink frat party at 1416 S. Jen Tilly Lane. Pooley said the party was thrown by ASU students referring to themselves as Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity members. 

The frat has been sanctioned for past violations, so they are not officially recognized by ASU at this time, according to Pooley.

[Related: ASU suspends Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity over hazing]

Partygoers were charged $30 at the door for unlimited alcohol. Individuals escorting three women into the party got in free, police said.

Later that evening, McClendon was seen in the residential building at 922 E. Apache Blvd. where she fell from the balcony. She was rushed to a hospital early Sunday where she later died from her injuries.

Pooley said officers have studied surveillance video that shows the woman entering the building with another woman and a man.

McClendon was stumbling and appeared intoxicated in the video, Pooley said. The pair went up the elevator, and then the man and woman left her in the apartment, he said.

Pooley said the video shows McClendon putting her leg over the rail.

"Half of her body on the balcony and the other half dangling," Pooley said.

McClendon tried to catch herself, but it was too late, Pooley said.

"We are very confident there was no one else on the balcony with her," Pooley said.

[Click here to read McClendon's bio]

"This is a stark reminder of the dangers of underage alcohol consumption," Pooley said.

ASU said at the time of the incident that it was working in cooperation with Tempe police and "will hold any student associated with this incident accountable to the Student Code of Conduct."

Alpha Epsilon Pi International Fraternity issued the following statement following the incident:

"Alpha Epsilon Pi International Fraternity removed recognition from its Arizona State Chapter in December of 2013 due to repeated violations of our risk management policies. The chapter's charter was revoked and all chapter functions and operations were ordered to cease. The recent incident at Arizona State was not an authorized event and did not involve recognized active members of Alpha Epsilon Pi.

"This group has no affiliation with Alpha Epsilon Pi and it had no authority to operate under the name of Alpha Epsilon Pi. Any mention of this event indicating that it was a party of 'Alpha Epsilon Pi' is false and misleading.

"Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity has been a leader in the interfraternal world in promoting risk management and appropriate behaviors among its members. Unfortunately, there are some young men who are simply unable to abide by our standards and, in this case, we were forced to close our chapter.

"We feel terribly about this tragic event and our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of the victim. Tragedies like this simply should not happen to our young people at institutions of higher learning."

The McClendon's parents, Judy and Nate McClendon, issued a message to the community:

"We want to share our sincerest gratitude for the outpouring of love for Naomi and of tremendous support for our family. Although the power of prayer is unmeasurable, it is mighty, and we know all of the prayers and thoughts are helping to sustain us.

"Although we grieve the loss of precious Naomi, the pure joy and love she inspired in us will remain foremost and constant. We take comfort in knowing that this most amazing person - whom we were privileged to have in our family as a gift for 18 years - lived her life fully and happily, with vibrancy and deep faith.

"We are leaning on the arms of our Heavenly Father, and we feel blessed by the incredible love and support we have received.

During this difficult time, we ask for privacy as we grieve and additionally request media show restraint with airing footage from this past weekend. Our hope is that Naomi is remembered as she lived. Thank you."

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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