Lee Royster is no longer enrolled as a student at Duke, administrators said.
Stephen Bryan, associate dean of students and director of the Office of Student Conduct, wrote in an email Monday that Royster is not a student at the University. Royster is currently facing a felony charge related to the car accident that killed senior classmate Matthew Grape Sept. 15. The Durham County grand jury indicted Royster Nov. 14 on the charge of felony death by vehicle.
Royster declined to comment, and his attorney Bill Thomas did not respond to multiple attempts for comment.
It is unclear whether Royster was suspended or expelled from the University or if he withdrew voluntarily. Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta said he could not comment as to whether Royster withdrew or was dismissed.
Speaking generally, Moneta said that in cases when a student’s actions off campus has repercussions for campus affairs, Duke’s Office of Student Conduct often gets involved. Every situation where a student’s conduct is in question is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Upon the indictment, Royster did not post bond and has not served jail time. Royster was last scheduled to appear in court March 7.
Felony death by vehicle is a Class E felony defined under state law as an impaired driver unintentionally causing the death of another person when impairment is deemed to be the proximate cause of death. According to state sentencing guidelines, a person guilty of a Class E felony without a prior record could serve 15 to 31 months in prison or under supervised probation among other conditions, such as house arrest.
Assistant District Attorney Kyle Pousson, Law ’08, is the prosecutor in Royster’s case. Pousson wrote in an email Tuesday that he cannot comment on the case as charges are still pending.
With available information from the district attorney’s office and authorities, the University can sometimes finalize its decision on a student who is being charged with a felony before state criminal proceedings are finished, Moneta said. If a student is suspended or expelled, the student is generally no longer permitted in any area of campus that requires DukeCard access.
There is no information available from the University to indicate that University disciplinary action has been taken against Royster.
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