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18 frat members, frat, charged in Penn State student’s death
BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Eighteen members of a now-shuttered fraternity at Penn State University and the frat itself are facing criminal charges in the death of a student who was fatally injured in a fall during an alcohol-fueled pledge night.
Eight frat brothers at Beta Theta Pi and the frat are accused of involuntary manslaughter. The other charges range from evidence tampering to furnishing alcohol to minors.
Police had said hazing and excessive drinking at the private chapter house Feb. 2 contributed to the death of Timothy Piazza, 19, a sophomore engineering student from Lebanon, New Jersey.
Penn State permanently banned Beta Theta Pi on March 30, accusing it of a “persistent pattern” of excessive drinking, drug use and hazing.
Help for Piazza apparently wasn’t summoned until about 12 hours after he was injured during events surrounding a pledge acceptance ceremony.
Piazza was found unconscious on a couch on the main floor when paramedics arrived after a call for help. He died two days later at a hospital.
Fraternity members turned over security camera footage to police but later asked the court to return it.
Since Piazza’s death, chapter alumnus Donald Abbey, a California real estate magnate, has sued the fraternity.
He wants more than $10 million he says he loaned the chapter to fix up the house and shore up its finances.
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