A Penn State sophomore died in February following injuries he suffered during a hazing party thrown by the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. In the wake of his death, the DA has announced more than 850 charges—including involuntary manslaughter, hazing, assault, and furnishing alcohol to minors—against 18 frat members.
Timothy Piazza, 19, fell down a flight of stairs during a pledging ceremony after going through what the frat called "the gauntlet."
The “gauntlet” involves forcing pledges to drink 4-5 alcoholic beverages within two minutes at a series of drinking stations.
The Centre County District Attorney announced the resulting charges Friday.
Piazza died two days after suffering his injuries. He consumed “a life-threatening amount of alcohol,” according to grand jury findings.
"Tim was an incredible young man and an excellent student with very bright promising future ahead of him," Timothy’s father, Jim Piazza, said at a press conference Friday.
Jim Piazza, father of Tim Piazza speaks about charges. pic.twitter.com/njPHW8kVMf— Frank Esposito (@FqEsposito) May 5, 2017
He added that his son’s death was "a disobedience of law, a disregard of moral values which was then exacerbated by a egregious acts of self-preservation."
None of Piazza’s frat brothers called for medical help for 12 hours after he fell. They also reportedly attempted to cover up their role in Piazza’s death by deleting their online exchanges.
Piazza suffered severe head trauma and compromised brain function, and as a result he experienced respiratory failure. He also had a fracture at the base of his skull in addition to traumatic brain injuries.
Beta Theta Pi, which has been banned from Penn State, released a statement and called the charges "incredibly disheartening." Buzzfeed has the whole story, including the incredibly troubling text messages between members of the frat.