In this May 5, 2017, file photo, Centre County, Pa., District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller, left, announces the findings of an investigation into the death of Penn State University fraternity house Tim Piazza, seen in the photo on the right, as his parents, Jim and Evelyn Piazza, second and third from left, stand nearby during a press conference in Bellefonte, Pa.
(Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP)
A recovered surveillance video of a Penn State fraternity house where a pledge died after a hazing ritual turned out to be the 19-year-old had received at least 18 drinks in 90 minutes, leading prosecutors to file new hazing and manslaughter charges, officials said Monday.
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller charged 12 additional men in the case, bringing the total number of former Beta Theta Pi brothers and collateral for the account of 17 in total.
Timothy Piazza, 19, of Lebanon, N. J., fell down the stairs and the victim was fatally injured on Feb. 9 after prosecutors said pledges were forced to be in a dangerous amount of alcohol and then were made to run a “gauntlet” of the beverage, and drinking stations.
The costs come from surveillance video that allegedly showed several members of the brotherhood to give Piazza 18 alcoholic beverages in the span of 1 hour and 22 minutes, Parks, Miller said.
The video was removed after brotherhood members to make them aware that an investigation into the Piazza’s death was ongoing, and the police is scheduled for the obtaining of the images.
Timothy Piazza, 19, fell down the stairs and the victim was fatally injured at a fraternity house.
The basement-recorded video of the ongoing hazing that occurred on the bid acceptance night, and the constant repeated furnishing of alcohol by Beta brothers at the Piazza, as well as the other collateral that the whole evening.
“In fact, on the video, Tim Piazza not getting his own alcohol at every point, or rather, each drink consumed was given to him by a fraternity brother,” her office said in a press release.
“Hazing must stop, there is simply no place for it.”
– Jim Piazza, the father of former Penn State Student Timothy Piazza
Parks Miller said FBI agents were able to recover the surveillance video from the removed hard drive in the basement of the house.
“People had asked us for, why would anyone be forced to delete that video if they do remove it? That is what we wanted to know,” she said. “Well know we know it, because it contained criminal behavior.”
PROSECUTORS REFILE AT 11 IN THE PENN STATE FRAT HAZING DEATH
Last month, prosecutors announced that they moved to recover from the most of the dismissed against the 11 members of the now-defunct Penn State fraternity for actions in connection with the hazing death of the second-year promise earlier this year.
Parks Miller has announced the refiling of criminal charges, including involuntary manslaughter and the crime of aggravated assault, District Justice Allen Sinclair threw out the felony charges in September against eight Beta Thea Pi members of the brotherhood, her office said in a press release.
The judge let stand lesser charges against them and six others, but dismissed other charges in total against four of the members of the brotherhood. As a result, that defendants will again be faced with the possibility of several years in prison, if convicted.
The tensions rise in Penn State hazing death case
Security video of the incident included Piazza appear in a state of intoxication, and is led to a bank after 11 o’clock in the evening A few minutes later he fell with his head in a set of basement stairs and had to be carried back up into a state of unconsciousness.
For several hours, members of the brotherhood turned out to tend to their wounded friend, who is a liquid on him and strapping on a loaded backpack to prevent him from rolling to suffocate in vomit. He died two days later on Feb. 4 at a local hospital.
“Hazing must stop, there is simply no place for him,” Timothy Piazza’s father, Jim said at a press conference.
Penn State said last week he punished the seven students in connection with the Piazza’s death, which were found to be in violation of the university’s student code of conduct.
The penalties ranged from probation to expulsion, the school said, but it did not give a breakdown, including the privacy of students.
Violations included “hazing” and “a condition that poses a threat,” the school said. It did not identify the students.
18 frat brothers face charges in Penn State hazing death
The other 19 students withdrew for the completion of the disciplinary process and must be completed before returning to Penn State, the school said. Six students have participated in the process and were not charged with any violations.
Prosecutors charged Ryan, Liam Burke, Bo Han Sang, Joshua Robert Kurczewski, Aiden O’brien and Jonathan Kanzler with the crime of aggravated assault and misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter for their alleged role in the events that led to the Piazza’s death in February. The shows also were also accused of misdemeanor simple assault, misdemeanor recklessly endangering another person, misdemeanor hazing and misdemeanor furnishing liquor to minors, according to the DA.
In addition to the five, Joseph Ems, Brian Gelb, Patrick Jackson, Reggie Goeke, Donald Prior and Mike Fernandez were charged with felony hazing and misdemeanor furnishing of alcohol to minors.
The prosecutors also filed charges against Braxton Becker with tampering with evidence, obstructing administration of law and hindering apprehension for possible, try to destroy the recording.
Fox News’ Michelle Chavez and the Associated Press contributed to this report.