Charges Against Frat, 18 Members in Penn State Student's Death

Penn State student said frat brothers ignored pleas to help classmate

In all, Centre District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller has brought charges against 18 fraternity brothers in connection with the February 4 death of sophomore engineering student Timothy Piazza after a Beta "bid acceptance" party.

They were new initiates to Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Penn State and had just run the gantlet - a series of stations where they guzzled beer, wine and vodka as fast as they could. They say he also fell several other times, injuring his head.

Piazza is seen on the video staggering around for hours, hitting his head several times.

The grand jury said it had learned numerous members were both aware of the risks of excessive drinking and certain that Piazza's injuries would be seen as the result of hazing at the fraternity.

Ten of the defendants were arraigned Friday and were released on bail.

At the pledging ceremony, the frat brothers allegedly made Timothy drink four to five alcoholic drinks within two minutes in a "gauntlet" hazing ritual created to get pledges drunk quickly. He heard Piazza groaning, and eventually he saw Piazza roll off the couch and land on the floor. "If Tim fell, he does not need to be on the couch. he needs to go to the hospital, we need to call 911". He said that he voiced concerns to fellow frat brothers but, ultimately, failed to call 911 because senior members of the group told him that he was overreacting.

Detectives said four of the brothers carried him upstairs.

Authorities say help wasn't called for 12 hours, and Piazza died two days after the fall. "Timothy was lying on his back and his arms clenched tight at his sides and his hands in the air", jurors wrote in the Bellefonte Courthouse in Pennsylvania after preliminary hearings.

"His chest was bare, his breathing heavy, and he had blood on his face ..." He felt cold to the touch, his skin was pale and his eyes were half-open, according to the grand jury report.

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During the following 42 minutes, the fraternity brothers shook Piazza to wake him, tried propping him up, covered him with a blanket, and washed his face clean.

"They attempted to dress Timothy as they waited for the authorities to show up because someone suggested "[he] might look better if he was dressed before medical treatment was rendered", according to one brother's testimony.

The investigation found some fraternity members tried to hide what happened.

The brothers' GroupMe conversations in particular "demonstrated a concerted effort by some of the Beta brothers to destroy or withhold evidence of both the alleged hazing as well as the underage consumption of alcohol". He was discovered in the basement at about 10 a.m. They tried to coax him up, but he did not respond.

Call an ambulance, you absolute bellend. "And I said, "No, I really do know what I'm talking about".

"You can't blame yourself", an unidentified person told him.

"This is the result of a feeling of entitlement, flagrant disobedience of the law, and disregard for moral values", Jim Piazza, the victim's father said on Friday.

Eight fraternity members were charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Eighteen members of a now-shuttered Penn State University fraternity and the fraternity itself are facing charges in the death of a student who fell down a flight of steps during an alcohol-fueled pledge night.

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