May 12, 2006

Police Arrest Two in Connection with Pearlstone Death

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University of Virginia police arrested two UVa students on Wednesday during an investigation into the death of Cornell student Matthew Pearlstone ’09, who died of accidental alcohol overdose while visiting the UVa campus in mid-March. UVa student Nicole Kiffe, 21, was arrested on a charge of providing alcohol to a minor and Benjamin Carlton, 20, was arrested on a charge of purchasing, consuming, or possessing alcohol while underage. Both students were released on $2,500 bond each.

The police have not confirmed that these students were directly responsible for providing the alcohol leading to Pearlstone’s death.

“[Although] these arrests…came out of the investigation following Mr. Pearlstone’s death, we’re not saying that was the cause of death,'” said Capt. Michael A. Coleman to UVa’s Daily Progress.

If the students are convicted of these charges, they face up to $2,500 in fines or up to a year in jail. They are scheduled to appear in court tomorrow, May 12th.

“The investigation determined that Ms. Kiffe had purchased alcohol for a person who was not 21 years of age,” according to a news release from UVa police. “It also determined that Mr. Nowak was in possession of alcohol while he was not 21 years of age.”