Penn State Hazing Death

Pauline Gross
November 14, 2017

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller announced Monday that the new evidence enabled police to determine that 19-year-old Beta Theta Pi pledge Tim Piazza was given at least 18 drinks over less than 90 minutes. Piazza was furnished with at least 18 drinks in 1 hour and 22 minutes, Parks Miller's office said. Piazza died of a fractured skull and other injuries two days after drinking a unsafe amount of alcohol at a pledge ceremony and falling down basement stairs.

The video was deleted by fraternity members after they became aware that a police investigation was underway and that officers planned to obtain the surveillance footage.

The Centre County prosecutor announced Monday that investigators had recovered deleted security camera footage from the basement of Beta Theta Pi.

"State College Police sent the box to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose agents were able to restore the video from the deleted hard drive", the district attorney's office added.

In light of these findings, she has charged 12 members of the fraternity and added additional charges to 5 members previously facing charges.

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The saga of Tim Piazza's untimely death continues.

Eight members of the frat were previously cleared of felony manslaughter and assault charges, although 14 still faced lesser charges. What happened next is described in horrific detail in a grand jury report citing evidence including surveillance video, witness testimony and phone records. That night, after taking part in an alcohol-fueled hazing ritual known as the "Gauntlet", a heavily intoxicated Piazza was heard falling down the stairs.

The video showed Piazza stumbling around in the dark at several points, then disappearing from view.

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. With the addition of those charges, 17 people have now been charged in connection to the case. A judge previously tossed their cases, but Parks Miller filed single counts of hazing, furnishing and unlawful acts against Ems and three misdemeanors against Becker for allegedly deleting the video. The school has also changed the way it regulates fraternities and sororities, assuming more control over disciplinary procedures. But until recently, that did not include the basement, where Piazza was found the next morning. "The visions of him lying in the hospital bed, battered and bruised and on life-support, looking as if he got hit by a tractor-trailer made no sense".

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