Niskayuna native charged with tampering in Pa. student's death
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 11:08
The members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity involved arrived at the Court of Common Pleas in Bellefonte, Centre County this afternoon.
Bringing charges against the fraternity brothers at Penn State for their shameful, neglectful behavior was the correct call. Ten other defendants were arraigned on Friday.
The brothers poured liquid on Piazza's face to try to wake him up, slapped him in the face, and struck his bruised abdomen.
An attorney for one fraternity brother charged with aggravated assault said that prosecutors wrongly assume that the students should have been able to tell the difference between extreme intoxication and a life-threatening head injury. The grand jury says a former pledge, Kordel Davis, told police that after drinking excessively on his bid acceptance night in the fall of 2016, he fell and hit his head, causing profuse bleeding.
Not all of the 18 people being held responsible are facing the same charges.
Eight additional Penn State Fraternity brothers arraigned today, including one from Scranton, charged in the death of Timothy Piazza. Piazza died the next day from a ruptured spleen and head injuries. A forensic pathologist estimated his blood alcohol content at the time of the fall would have been as high as.36.
A fraternity member testified that the students were made to have four to five drinks within two minutes.
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said said doctors estimate Piazza had a blood-alcohol content of almost 0.40 percent; the legal limit for drivers is 0.08 percent. Davis, a freshman from Exeter Township, urged members to call 911 the night Piazza fell but was rebuffed. Prosecutors said the actions by some of them may have worsened his injuries and suffering.
"I'm burnt out from hazing", Young said in the message thread.
Neuman, Kubera, Bonatucci, Dibileo, Visser and Sala also each face 14 counts of recklessly endangering another person, 14 counts of hazing, 12 counts of furnishing alcohol to minors and 12 counts of unlawful acts relative to liquor.
Moreover, it's nearly certain that Piazza's compatriots were themselves stumbling in an alcohol-induced fog and might have exercised better judgment had they been sober. The Beta Theta Pi National Office issued a new statement on Tuesday. It wasn't until 10:48 a.m. the morning after a February 2 party that an ambulance was called. According to the New York Times, 8 of the 18 students and the fraternity itself were charged with involuntary manslaughter.
"The alleged details in the grand jury presentment, which suggest inhumane treatment of a student forced through hazing to consume risky amounts of alcohol and endure hours of suffering, are sickening and hard to understand", Barron said.
New details continue to emerge at the Penn State fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, after a pledge died in February from falling down a flight of stairs.
The night Piazza fell, Rizzo told investigators he heard the sound and went to the top of the basement stairs.
The evidence allegedly shows fraternity pledges lined up for a "gauntlet" of drinking stations where they were forced to rapidly consume large amounts of vodka, beer, and wine.