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

Eighteen fraternity members at Pennsylvania State University have been charged in the death of 19-year-old sophomore Timothy Piazza, who died in February after falling at a frat party. Authorities say help wasn't called for 12 hours and Piazza died at a hospital two days later.

During the pledge night event, the recruits were required to drink various types of alcohol at stations as part of a contest known as "the gauntlet".

Piazza's father, Jim Piazza, this morning called his son's death a "senseless and very preventable tragedy".

Seven fraternity members face involuntary manslaughter and other charges.

Investigators discovered in the fall 2016 pledge class, Beta Theta Pi subjected 29 pledges to forced physical calisthenics, sleep deprivation and excessive and severe alcohol consumption.

DA announces charges against Penn.

Following an investigation of Piazza's death, eight members of Beta Theta Pi - and the fraternity itself - have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Piazza and other pledges showed up at the frat house on "bid acceptance night", when they were formally invited to join the fraternity, Miller's statement said.

During the next 40 minutes, fraternity members shook him, tried to prop him up, covered him with a blanket, wiped his face and attempted to dress him before one finally called emergency services, the jury said.

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Six of the fraternity brothers face only one charge of tampering with evidence.

Ten others are also facing charges; Michael Angelo Schiavone, Craig Heimer, Lars Kenyon, Parker Jax Yochim are each charged with recklessly endangering another person, hazing, furnishing alcohol to minors and unlawful acts relative to liquor. According to members of the fraternity, help wasn't called for Piazza until he didn't wake up the next morning because his condition did not seem risky even though he had fallen multiple times and struck his head. Flanked by Piazza's parents and blown-up portrait of the sophomore engineering major, she accused fraternity members of putting Piazza through a unsafe booze-fueled hazing ritual and failing to call for help once he had injured himself.

The lengthy indictment followed a 10-week grand jury investigation spurred by Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller.

Prosecutors say in February, 19-year old Timothy Piazza of New Jersey died after a night of drinking at Beta Theta Pi and a fall down a flight of stairs. He's later shown trying unsuccessfully to open the front door, then "severely staggering drunkenly toward the basement steps" at about 10:45 p.m., the grand jury report said.

The Centre County District Attorney announced the charges against 18 students after a Centre County Grand Jury investigation.

But Parks Miller lambasted that argument Friday, saying that video taken from the fraternity house's extensive security system disproved those claims and others.

When police arrived, they found the college student at the bottom of the staircase unconscious.

Miller said doctors estimate Piazza had a blood-alcohol content of almost 0.40 percent; the legal limit for drivers, for comparison, is 0.08 percent. 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. He also fell onto a stone floor before being found in the basement hours later, it said. "His chest was bare, his breathing heavy and he had blood on his face".

He pointed to what he called the national problem and how Penn State dealt with problems of alcohol miss-use.

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