March 19, 2018

Video recovered, 10 more charged in Penn State frat death

13 November 2017, 11:08 | Opal Carroll

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New information in Beta Theta Pi Investigation

In total, 27 defendants are facing charges in the case.

Timothy Piazza did not get his own drink at any point, they said, but based on the video, he was given at least 18 drinks in less than an hour and a half.

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 February 2 when Timothy J. Piazza participated in a hazing ritual.

Prosecutors charged an additional 12 members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity on Monday in the death of 19-year-old student Timothy Piazza after examining the recovered surveillance-camera video from the night he died.

The footage in question led to new charges against 12 people in the case, ranging from felony aggravated assault to misdemeanors.

Miller had said at the time that she planned to refile charges and denied there was prosecutorial overreach because the more serious charges were dropped. District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller saying, "Today we refiled the previously dismissed charges for Tim Piazza's unnecessary death".

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Piazza's father, James Piazza, noted that witnesses and several accused members repeatedly claimed they didn't know what else happened to Tim "beyond what was seen in the upstairs video".

"[Tim] was a happy and caring human being and loving son who just wanted to join an organization to find friendships and camaraderie", he said. And we don't know what happened in the basement. Instead he was killed at the hands of those he was seeking friendship from.

Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey, died of a fractured skull and other injuries two days after drinking a risky amount of alcohol at a pledge ceremony and falling down basement stairs.

But until recently, that did not include the basement, where Piazza was found the next morning.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were able to recover video from the deleted hard drive, which showed the fraternity members requiring pledges to drink beer, wine and vodka in the basement, prosecutors said.

The house's security system had captured numerous events the night Piazza was injured and that footage had already been played at a preliminary hearing for those charged previously.

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