Assault, Manslaughter Charges Dismissed in Beta Theta Pi Case
- Author: Rogelio Becker Sep 02, 2017,
Sep 02, 2017, 0:41
According to the Penn State student newspaper, the Daily Collegian, Parks Miller argued in court that the former fraternity members knew the dangers of consuming large amounts of alcohol because they themselves had been through the type of hazing Piazza faced.
"What we have is evidence from this record that this tragic death was simply not foreseeable here", said Engle, who represents defendant Gary DiBileo.
Twelve other Penn State fraternity members; however, will be headed to trial in the case, but not for the most serious charges.
The prosecutor failed to present enough evidence to support a trial for eight of the fraternity members on felony charges of aggravated assault and misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter, Centre County Magisterial District Judge Allen Sinclair found.
District Judge Allen Sinclair made the announcement Thursday after the seventh day of a preliminary hearing.
The grand jury report concluded that "the severity of Timothy Piazza's condition was obvious and noticed by the fraternity brothers and pledges around him that evening".
Prosecutors and defense lawyers are resuming arguments in the case of Penn State fraternity members charged in the death of a pledge after a night of drinking and hazing. Two other defendants previously agreed to stand trial.
"To say they could not foresee this as a risky event, is absolute incredulous", Parks Miller said during closing arguments.
After the judge's ruling, District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller announced that she plans to refile charges and denied there was prosecutorial overreach because the more serious charges were dropped.
The judge decided eight will face trial on recklessly endangering a life, punishable by up to two years in prison, and that 11 will face trial on the hazing charge, which carries up to a year in jail.
A preliminary hearing for 16 members of Beta Theta Pi continued for a seventh day Thursday, with lawyers telling District Judge Allen Sinclair they had little reason to anticipate that 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey, would consume risky amounts of alcohol and fall several times.
The case involves the February death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey. Two of the 18 brothers waived the preliminary hearing.
Bream was in the house the night in February that 19-year-old pledge Tim Piazza consumed a risky amount of alcohol and fell repeatedly.
After Friday's ruling, four fraternity brothers no longer face charges.
Parks Miller told reporters on Friday that she meant to refile the charges, including those for involuntary manslaughter.
Authorities say Piazza had suffered severe injuries, including a fractured skull and a ruptured spleen.
Security camera footage from the since-closed Beta Theta Pi fraternity captured 19-year-old Tim Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey, falling several times in the hours after he and other pledges were run through a drinking gauntlet. He later died at a hospital.