More charges in Penn State hazing death

STATE COLLEGE, PA. - Beta Theta Pi brothers gave their pledge 18 drinks in an hour and 22 minutes, surveillance video from the basement of the fraternity house shows.

The new tape led Centre County's district attorney, Stacy Parks Miller, to announce additional criminal charges against frat members as a result of the investigation into deleted surveillance video from Feb. 2 when Timothy J. Piazza participated in a hazing ritual.

Twelve more Beta Theta Pi members have been charged, including five facing manslaughter charges.

When authorities initially evaluated the video footage, fraternity brothers led police to believe that the basement cameras had been inoperable the night that new pledges were going through the hazing.

 

 

 

However, after later examining one of the DVR surveillance boxes, State College police uncovered evidence that the basement camera footage had actually been manually deleted just as State College police were poised to take possession of the recording equipment.

State College police sent the box to the FBI, whose agents were able to restore the video from the deleted hard drive.

The basement video clearly depicts a continuation of the hazing previously captured upstairs during a gauntlet. Brothers furnished beer to pledges at a beer pong gauntlet station and immediately handed them beers to perform another shotgun together as a pledge class.

On the video, fraternity brothers approach the pledges with alcohol, requiring them to drink wine, beer and vodka. Piazza, an engineering student who came to Penn State from Readington, N.J., does not obtain his own alcohol at any point.

A fraternity brother provided him every drink he consumed, Miller said.

Piazza suffered a fractured skull, shattered spleen and other injuries after falling on the basement stairs. Fraternity members are accused of waiting several hours after his fall before calling for an ambulance.

The 19-year-old died Feb. 4 of his injuries.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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