A Centre County, Pennsylvania, judge dropped the most serious charges against the fraternity brothers involved in a criminal investigation after a fraternity pledge, Timothy Piazza, died while at the Beta Theta Pi house at Pennsylvania State University in February.
On Friday morning, Centre County District Justice Allen Sinclair dismissed charges of involuntary manslaughter, simple assault, and aggravated assault against eight of the 18 men who were criminally charged in the case of Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore student.
— Tim Hamon (@mymoney2916) August 30, 2017
However, twelve fraternity members are still scheduled to stand trial for lesser charges that include hazing, reckless endangerment, and providing alcohol to minors. The decision came after a seven-day preliminary hearing.
Piazza fell down a flight of stairs in the fraternity basement on February 2 and never recovered. The frat brothers were accused of failing to get him help and leaving him unconscious for hours until he passed away. A medical examiner indicated that Piazza consumed alcohol prior to his fall. Prosecutors argued that the fraternity pledges were forced by the frat brothers to consume large amounts of alcohol during the hazing process, followed by degrading and dangerous tasks.
— Matthew Baumgarten (@baumgarten_news) September 1, 2017
Timothy’s parents, parents, Jim and Evelyn Piazza, declined to comment on the judge’s decision. Philly.com reports that the the parents have been strong supporters of getting rid of hazing in colleges since their son’s death.
[Feature Photo: Handout]