Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Another dozen Penn State fraternity brothers charged in Tim Piazza hazing death

Another dozen Penn State fraternity brothers charged in Tim Piazza hazing death

At least two dozen people now face charges in the case, including involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, hazing and furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor.

Also as a result of the video, five fraternity members already charged in the case face additional charges, said Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller on Monday.

Piazza, 19, died in February from injuries he suffered inside the house from several falls amid an alcohol-fueled party, prosecutors said. The charges range from manslaughter to hazing, as well as one charge for the fraternity member accused of deleting the footage.

"It was manually deleted through certain menus", said Miller of the video. In September charges were dismissed completely against four of the former fraternity members who were facing single counts of either tampering with evidence or recklessly endangering another person. Initially, 18 former Beta Theta Pi members faced charges in connection with Piazza's death, with prosecutors alleging many were involved in attempting to cover up the incident and "coordinate a story". As the night went on, Piazza tried over and over to stand on his own, falling each time and eventually going still. What happened next is described in horrific detail in a grand jury report citing evidence including surveillance video, witness testimony and phone records. That previous footage allegedly depicted Piazza, severely under the influence, falling head-first down the stairs at about 11 p.m. and falling again around 5 a.m., hitting his head against a metal railing.

The basement video shows Piazza's quick decline into total drunkenness, Parks Miller said.

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It would be almost another six hours before an ambulance was called for Piazza, who ultimately died with traumatic brain injuries and a ruptured spleen.

Earlier this year, the most serious charges against Beta brothers were dropped, leading one to state "the judge got it right". At a lengthy preliminary hearing over the initial charges in the case last summer, defense attorneys argued that Piazza's death was a tragic accident. She lost a primary election in the spring and is set to leave office in January. The school has also changed the way it regulates fraternities and sororities, assuming more control over disciplinary procedures.

The attorneys previously said their clients could not be held liable for what Piazza "chose" to drink in the basement.

"The visions of him lying in a hospital bed battered and bruised and on life support. make no sense".

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