Penn State Scholar Given 18 Drinks In 82 Mins Before Hazing Loss of life, Prosecutors Say
Enlarge this photograph toggle caption Gene J. Puskar/AP Gene J. Puskar/AP
Prosecutors have filed new charges against participants of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Penn Condition, alleging that newly recovered video recording displays them serving pledge Timothy Piazza excessive quantities of alcohol. The charges filed Monday – starting from involuntary manslaughter to aggravated assault and hazing – rely on surveillance footage considered through the pledge event linked with the 19-year-old’s death.
Piazza received “at least 18 drinks found in over one hour and 22 moments,” Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said at a news conference Mon, and he “never once obtained any of those refreshments for himself. Brothers [in the fraternity] were approaching to him and offering him those refreshments.”
That same night following the February event, Piazza would drunkenly fall down the stairs and sustain the injuries that resulted in his death less than two days later.
“When law enforcement initially evaluated the video, fraternity brothers led police to believe that the basement cameras have been inoperable on Bid Acceptance Evening,” Parks Miller’s office said in a declaration. “However, after after examining among the DVR surveillance boxes, Condition College Police uncovered proof that the basement surveillance camera footage had in fact been manually deleted merely as State College Police were poised to take possession of the recording equipment.”
“State College Police sent the field to the FBI, whose agents were able to restore the video recording from the deleted hard drive,” the district attorney’s office added.
Prosecutors filed charges against 12 participants of the fraternity and put into the already-existing charges against five others. “In all,” The Philadelphia Inquirer studies, “25 Beta Theta Pi members now face charges.”
The brand new allegations mark a significant escalation in a case which has taken several twists because the Dauphin County coroner initially ruled Piazza’s death a major accident. IN-MAY, a grand jury revised that assessment, calling it “the immediate result of encouraged reckless carry out.” As NPR’s Costs Chappell reported at the time, charges were pressed against 18 participants of the fraternity, including eight who were billed with involuntary manslaughter.
The grand jury file referenced other surveillance footage compared to the video recovered recently. That past footage allegedly depicted Piazza, severely under the influence, falling head-1st down the stairs at about 11 p.m. and falling again round 5 a.m., striking his brain against a steel railing. At various items in enough time between, fraternity brothers allegedly slapped Piazza several times in the facial skin and stomach.
It would be almost another six time before an ambulance was needed Piazza, who in the end died with traumatic brain injuries and a good ruptured spleen.
Yet the prosecutors’ case has not progressed equally since May, as the accused possess said Parks Miller is overreaching with her allegations. The Inquirer explains:
“In September, Judge Allen Sinclair gutted the prosecution’s case, throwing out the most serious felony charges against the fraternity participants and saying prosecutors had not presented more than enough evidence to aid them. “Parks Miller has vowed to push onward with the case and refiled those felony counts last month. “She’s asked that the case be reassigned to another judge, but she is doing work against the clock. She misplaced a major election in the spring and is set to leave office in January. Her successor – Bernie Cantorna – has not said whether or not he intends to proceed with the prosecution.”
At the news conference Monday, Piazza’s father said he is committed to pursuing the charges against the participants of the fraternity, which has been shut down by Penn State. The institution has also changed the way it regulates fraternities and sororities, assuming even more control over disciplinary techniques.
Timothy Piazza “was a happy and caring human being” who “was killed at the hands of those he was seeking friendship from,” his father said, in accordance to ABC News.
“The visions of him lying in a hospital bed battered and bruised and on lifestyle support … make no impression. He was merely trying to join an organization.”