Five Texas Chrisitan University freshmen are facing criminal charges following the death of 19-year-old Jack Elliot after one allegedly pushed him off a boat while they were flirting.
The students were on Lake Travis northwest of Austin, Texas in October of 2019. Delaney Brennan, also 19, and Jack were flirting when she gave him a ‘playful shove’ that pushed him overboard, hitting his propeller and drowning in the water around 8:30 pm.
In a panic, the teens on the boat decided to conceal the truth by lying to officials while dumping their alcohol bottles over the side of the boat.
The truth was later revealed when a wrongful death suit was launched by Elliot’s family in 2020.
Elle Weber, another teen on the boat, detailed in a sworn statement in the suit: “Delaney and Jack were at the front of the boat, flirting and kissing.”
“She gave Jack a ‘playful little shove’ and he fell off the boat.”
In an affidavit, another teen said panicked Delaney kept repeating: ”he fell! I didn’t mean to push him” After the ordeal.
Delaney and four other students are facing criminal charges after the justice system concluded they have to answer for their actions in concealing the cover-up of the death of Elliot.
Delaney Brennan was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with evidence by aiding in the deletion of a cellphone video. She could face up to 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
She will appear for a pre-trial at the Travis County Criminal Court on August 17.
The body of Jack Elliot was found 10 days after he drowned more than 100 feet below the surface.
Months after the incident, student Elle Weber admitted to the police that she had not told the whole story. She said, “I was scared and in shock about what happened. I wish it had not happened and I wish I’d told the police everything the first time.”
Delaney revealed in her own deposition how she had tattooed Jack’s initials onto her wrist.
Delaney said, “I did that because I wanted to always have something to remember him by. When I looked down I wanted to remember how much he loved life and it kind of gave me a reminder to always live my life to the fullest and to do everything in life to basically live up to what he would have done.”
Delaney posted on social media saying, “I’m still messed up from this and my parents are here with me now, but we don’t know much still. I just feel like guilty … and I don’t think I have ever been this sad. I was the last person to touch him.”
Following Jack’s death in October 2019, Brennan also posted a tribute to him on her Instagram.
Though Jack Elliot’s tragic death may have been an accident, the cover-up was not. At least his parents have answers for what truly happened that day.