Five TCU students indicted in connection to 2019 boating death of teen in Austin

·3 min read
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Five TCU students are facing criminal charges related to the Oct. 14, 2019, death of Jack Elliott while they were together on a boat in Travis County, according to court records.

The indictments came after the family of Elliott, 19, settled a lawsuit against the five out of court and a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department report found that the students had lied to police.

According to online Travis County court records, the indictments are:

  • Delaney Brennan, 21, providing a false statement to police

  • Carson Neel, 21, providing a false statement to police

  • Elle Weber, 21, giving a false information to a police officer

  • Anthony Salazar, 21, perjury and giving a false statement to police

  • Joshua Evans, 21, furnishing alcohol to a minor

The New York Post reported that Brennan and Neel are also facing felony charges of tampering with evidence, but records of those charges were not immediately available in online Travis County court records.

According to court records, Evans is not in custody and has a warrant out for his arrest.

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately reply to an after-hours request for more information.

What happened?

A report by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which investigated the death because it happened on a lake, detailed that Elliott was killed when he went overboard and was struck by the propeller multiple times, according to the New York Post.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department did not respond Thursday to a request for a copy of the report.

Weber told police she saw Brennan “shove” Elliott overboard after previously telling police and Elliot’s parents that she didn’t know how he fell, according to the New York Post. Another unnamed witness told police in an affidavit that after Elliott went overboard, Brennan repeated, “He fell. I didn’t mean to push him.”

The group, at the time all younger than 21, were drinking on Lake Travis in Austin on Oct. 14, 2019, according to Star-Telegram news partner WFAA-TV.

Weber said in a statement that Elliott and Brennan were at the front of the boat, “flirting and kissing,” when Brennan gave Elliott a “playful little shove” and sent him overboard, according to the New York Post.

Weber was operating the boat at the time, according to several of the indictments.

What are they accused of lying about?

The report from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also said that “false statements were given to the officers” investigating what happened, according to the New York Post.

The false statements included stories that Elliott did a backflip into the water and that he fell overboard while vomiting, according to the New York Post.

The indictments accuse Brennan, Neel, Salazar and Weber of lying, some to police and some under oath, by saying that Salazar was operating the boat when Elliott went overboard when it was actually Weber.

The New York Post reported that Brennan is also being charged with tampering with evidence, a felony, after allegedly deleting cellphone video, and Neel faces the same charge for allegedly tossing alcohol overboard after Elliott was killed.

The group is accused of throwing the alcohol overboard before calling 911, according to the New York Post.

According to Travis County court records, investigators at one point obtained search warrants for Brennan, Weber and Neel’s Facebook and Snapchat accounts, searching for stored digital data to show evidence tampering.

A search warrant was also issued for Salazar’s Snapchat data to investigate suspicion of the same charge.

The indictments were handed down by a Travis County grand jury in late 2021, and all the defendants have appearances scheduled in the next few weeks, according to court records.