HARRISBURG, Pa. – Penn State fraternity brothers confronted refiled charges in a building of the hazing death are scheduled for a second hearing on the question of whether prosecutors have sufficient proof to send the most serious accusation against them before the court.
A judge on Friday scheduled a six-day preliminary hearing for the following month for the 11 members of the now-closed-Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
Prosecution of the case was recently transferred to the attorney-general’s office, which would aim to further delays. A spokesman said Monday the agency was still reviewing the case.
Then-District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller last fall refiled charges that were dismissed in September after a marathon preliminary hearing. The most serious is that charged, involuntary manslaughter, and aggravated assault. They also tried to replace district judge Allen Sinclair, who handled the preliminary hearing.
Parks Miller was voted on and office at the end of December, after which her successor, turned the case to the prosecutors.
Also in limbo are those costs that in September were forwarded by Sinclair county court, as well as new costs that Parks Miller filed on the basis of an FBI analysis of the deleted security camera footage from the basement of the brotherhood.
The attorney general’s office can forge ahead with the refiled charges, customize, drop, or try to negotiate resources.
“We are not ready as yet to give any kind of public update on this matter,” said Joe Grace, a spokesman for the attorney-general. “The assessment is still underway.”
Centre County’s president judge last month ruled that Sinclair will continue to preside over the second preliminary hearing, now scheduled for 22 March.
Lawyer Michael Engle, who represents Gary DiBileo, one of the suspects said Monday that none of the defense lawyers, he has been in touch with have heard of the attorney general’s office about the prosecutors of the plan.
He argued that Sinclair will have the right to dismissal of the charges more than five months ago.
“It was inappropriate to refile against him because we were convinced that the Judge Sinclair did not make an error of law,” Engle said. “That was confirmed by the chairman of the judge’s determination in this case. There simply is no new evidence that changes in the calculation here, in what regards Gary who are in favour of more serious allegations.”
All costs relating to the death, a year ago, 19-year-old building, Tim Piazza, a second-year engineering student from Lebanon, New Jersey. Piazza severe head and abdomen injuries during a night of drinking and hazing at the fraternity house.
The building’s security cameras captured Piazza enduring a hellish night on the first floor of the Beta Theta Pi house, if his friends was not effective and even counterproductive efforts to his urgent medical condition.
Piazza fell down a set of basement during a party that followed a pledge bid acceptance ceremony. The authorities say that he consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol.
He somehow ended up in the cellar again the next morning, unconscious. Fraternity members carried him back upstairs, but waited 40 minutes before calling an ambulance. He later died in a hospital.