Penn State frat brother 'didn't know what to do' about unconscious pledge

Eight members of the Beta Theta Phi fraternity have been charged with involuntary manslaughter following the death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza.

They were announced Friday by the Centre County district attorney.

The university on March 30 issued a permanent ban on Beta Theta Pi, which was once regarded as a model fraternity, accusing it of a "persistent pattern" of excessive drinking, drug use and hazing.

Brendan Young, Daniel Casey, Jonah Neuman, Nick Kubera, Michael Bonatucci, Gary Dibileo, Luke Visser and Joe Sala are each charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, hazing, furnishing alcohol to minors and unlawful acts relative to liquor. He declined comment Monday and referred questions to a lawyer who did not immediately return a phone message. On the night of February 2, Piazza engaged in drinking as a part of a hazing ritual known as "The Gauntlet", and his blood alcohol content reached between.28 and.36., according to the report. Prosecutors said the pledges were pressured to chug vodka, shotgun beers and drink wine.

Piazza, whose blood-alcohol level was measured at.36 after his death, died from a severe blow to his head, apparently suffered in one of several hard falls in the frat house, according to the coroner's report.

As a result of his traumatic injuries, including a featured skull and lacerated spleen, 80% of his blood supply pooled in his stomach. Soon after taking part in events like this, Piazza's blood alcohol content skyrocketed to nearly 0.40.

Once Timothy was hospitalized, the brothers conducted "an active attempt to hide and/or destroy evidence", according to a "wealth of information" found by investigators. It found that a text message recovered by police urged pledges to get rid of evidence of alcohol and that conversations discussing deleting conversations from a messaging app were discovered.

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"This didn't have to happen", Jim Piazza said Friday.

"The alleged details in the grand jury presentment, which suggest the inhumane treatment of a student forced through hazing to consume unsafe amounts of alcohol and endure hours of suffering, are sickening and hard to understand", President Eric Bannon said in a statement also released on May 5.

Miller said video footage turned over to investigators provided evidence of what occurred and contradicted stories some witnesses had told. "Everybody was surrounding him, basically laughing pointing.Right away, I started freaking out.Tim fell, and he's just lying on the couch.If Tim fell, he does not need to be on the couch.he needs to go to the hospital".

Instead, the brothers "shook [Timothy], attempted to prop his limp body up on the couch, covered him with a blanket, wiped his face, and attempted to dress him", per the findings.

When a brother insisted Piazza needed medical help, he was confronted and shoved into a wall, the report said. When the same brother insisted again that Piazza required help, he was told others were biology and kinesiology majors so his opinion wasn't as valuable as theirs, the jury said.

Piazza tried to get up later but fell backward and hit his head on the wooden floor, the report said. The brothers failed to provide any meaningful assistance, detectives said, even as Piazza staggered around and somehow managed to end up back on the basement floor.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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