Penn State ex-frat brother makes first guilty plea in hazing death of 19-year-old promise

Burke Ryan, a former Beta Theta Pi brother, pleaded guilty for his role in Timothy Piazza’s death in the Centre County Courthouse Annex on Wednesday in Bellefonte, Pa.


One of the fraternity brothers charged in the death of a Penn State building, pleaded guilty Wednesday to nine charges related to Tim Piazza’s death, making him the first in the case of the entering of a guilty plea.

Ryan Burke, 21, pleaded guilty to four counts of hazing, and five counts relating to the unlawful deed, whereby beverage in the fatal injuries to Piazza, especially after a night of heavy drinking and hazing, Pennsylvania State Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

Piazza died after he fell down the basement stairs on 4 February 2017.



Former fraternity brother plead guilty to the Piazza case

Former fraternity brother plead guilty to hazing charges in the case of Timothy Square, the Piazza family lawyer offers insight into ‘The Story.’

Burke was first brought in November of that year. He was accused of giving the promise of a bottle of vodka on the Beta Theta Pi party.

“Burke admitted his role in the hazing of Tim Piazza, which included present and active in the promotion of a gauntlet of drinking games and an obstacle course, where the Piazza and other commitments,” the press release read.

Shapiro said he was “committed to seeking justice” for the Piazza, and that he was planning to hold “any person responsible accountable for their actions.”

Five-and-twenty other defendants still faced with the costs associated with the Piazza’s death. Some of the most serious charges, including involuntary manslaughter, against five of the defendants were thrown.

Tim Piazza, 19, died after sustaining fatal injuries after a night of heavy drinking and hazing.

Thomas Klein, a lawyer with the Piazza family, told Fox News in an interview the stoWednesday night that the persons involved in the case are facing many years in prison” if convicted.

Small said on “The Story” which is Burke’s only charges each carry the possibility of up to a year in prison.

He added that the Piazza’s family were “hopeful that there are others that follow” and that they were seeking justice not only for the sake of punishment, but also to serve as a “deterrence” for other students.

“Mr. Burke has done the right thing here,” Small told Fox News.

He noted that he was working with the state to be an anti-hazing bill.

Burke’s sentencing is set for July 31.

Fox News’ Tamara Gitt, Martha MacCallum, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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