Western New Jersey

Penn State fraternity, 18 members charged in student's death

BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Prosecutors announced Friday the results of a grand jury investigation into the death of a Penn State student who fell down steps during an alcohol-fueled pledge ceremony.

Now, 18 people and the fraternity are facing charges in the February 4 death of pledge Timothy Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller disclosed details about the events surrounding Piazza's death.

The DA said hazing and excessive drinking at the Beta Theta Pi chapter house contributed to the death of the 19-year-old sophomore engineering student.

A grand jury report shows Piazza was attending a bid acceptance night at the fraternity house on the Penn State campus. The pledges ran what is called "the gauntlet," a ritual of going to several stations and drinking.

After that ritual, investigators said Piazza was injured when he fell down a flight of stairs, but the DA said that was only the first fall. She said Piazza fell down the stairs again the next morning.

Authorities said help wasn't called for 12 hours, and Piazza died two day after the fall.

Beta Theta Pi is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, hazing, furnishing alcohol to minors and unlawful acts relative to liquor.

Brendan Young, Daniel Casey, Jonah Neuman, Nick Kubera, Michael Bonatucci, Gary Dibileo, Luke Visser, Joe Sala, are facing involuntary manslaughter and a slew of other charges. 

Michael Angelo Schiavone, Craig Heimer, Lars Kenyon, Parker Jax Yochim will be charged with reckless endangerment charges and more. 

Ed Gilmartin, Ryan McCann, Lucas Rockwell, Braxton Becker, Ryan Foster are facing tempering with evidence charges.

Joseph Ems will be charged with recklessly endangering another person.

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE  and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links may be removed by the moderator.

This Week's Circulars

Western NJ News

Latest From The Newsroom