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Change in DA could affect Penn State hazing case

Centre County DA about to leave office

BELLFONTE, Pa. - It's been a long haul for Centre County District Attorney Stacey Parks Miller.

"We've now been through seven long days of hearings by my count 50 or more hours of hearings that's been painful and difficult for the Piazza's but it's been made much better by the fact that there is a DA in this county who actually has given them the kind of attention that anyone here would hope to get if God forbid one of their loved ones was hurt seriously or in this case killed," said Tom Kilne, the attorney for the Piazza family.

The preliminary hearing in the death of 19 year old Timothy Piazza, a Penn State pledge who died on February 2nd at the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity during what the DA calls a night of hazing and heavy drinking, dragged on for 8 days,  wrapping up yesterday.

"Very concerned. very concerned. I've done this job for over 20 years. It's kind of my calling. I'm extremely concerned about the case. I'm very close to this case and the Piazza's. And there are other cases too, but this one is very special and I'm very very worried about it," says Stacey Parks Miller, the Distict Attorney for Centre County.

"She's worried because she won't be the one prosecuting this case when it goes to trial.The Centre County voters voted her out of office by 70 to 30 percent margin. So she will not be here to resolve this matter," said Andrew Shubin, a defense attorney in the Penn State fraternity death case.

Controversy has swirled around the DA. There's accusations that she used a fake Facebook account to get information on defendants in some cases.

She's also been accused of texting a judge during a trial.

"She has a very busy fall. She is being brought before the disciplinary board and she is going to be fighting for her license in November," said Shubin.

But Tom Kline, the attorney for the Piazza family defends the DA, saying the Piazza's are grateful.

"Her extraordinary caring and attention to them. She has been truly remarkable throughout this entire lengthy process" he said.

It's not clear when this case will go trial but Stacey Parks Miller has promised to re-file the more serious charges that were dropped by the judge in this case before she leaves office in January.

"Luckily there are people in my office if they stay on, who are very very capable," Parks Miller said.


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