KU freshman Jason Wren died of alcohol poisoning, autopsy confirms

A Kansas University freshman found dead in his fraternity house in March died from alcohol poisoning, according to an autopsy report released Tuesday.

Jason Wren, 19, was found dead March 8 after a night of drinking multiple margaritas with friends at a local Mexican restaurant, followed by drinking 10 to 12 beers and carrying around a bottle of hard liquor at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house, 1301 West Campus Road, said his father, Jay Wren, of Littleton, Colo.

According to the autopsy, Jason Wren’s blood alcohol concentration was .362 percent at the time of his death — more than four times the state’s legal limit for operating a motor vehicle, .08 percent.

“He was drinking pretty heavily, so that’s not a big surprise,” Jay Wren said.

Wren on Tuesday also said he’s hired attorneys to pursue civil action against those contributing to his son’s death. He would not give specifics but said only that he had no intention of pursuing action against individual members of the fraternity.

Two receipts were found in Jason Wren’s possession when he died, the autopsy report said. Jay Wren said they were from a Mexican restaurant in Lawrence, but he would not identify the establishment. The father also said his son was in possession of a fake ID, though that was not indicated on the autopsy report.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said he has not received reports from Lawrence police or the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control division in the case; therefore, no criminal prosecution has been considered.

The autopsy report also shed new light on the circumstances leading up to Jason Wren’s death:

• At 2 a.m., Wren “was walked to his bed and placed there by friends,” the autopsy report said.

• About 20 minutes later, he “got out of bed and came back downstairs where he fell asleep again.”

• At 3 a.m., “he was helped back up to his bed and placed there by friends,” investigators said. “There were no more reports of witnesses seeing Mr. Wren after this second time of him being placed in bed.”

• Friends tried to wake up Wren at 2 p.m. March 8, but “found him cold and unresponsive,” the autopsy report said.

• A paramedic pronounced him dead at 2:43 p.m. and said “it appeared that Mr. Wren had been dead for some time.”