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Most serious charges dismissed in Penn State frat death

The Associated Press
FILE – In this May 5, 2017, file photo, Jim and Evelyn Piazza, center, stand by as Centre County, Pa., prosecutors discuss an investigation into the death of their son Timothy Piazza, seen in photo at right, during a news conference in Bellefonte, Pa. During a Tuesday, July 31, 2018, sentencing hearing, a judge is scheduled to announce the punishment for Ryan Burke, of Scranton, Pa., the first fraternity member to plead guilty in relation to the Feb. 4, 2017, death of Timothy Piazza, of Lebanon, N.J., after a night of heavy drinking. (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP, File)

BELLEFONTE, Pa. – A judge is dismissing the most serious charges filed in a pledge’s fatal injuries suffered inside a Penn State fraternity house.

District Judge Carmine Prestia on Friday dismissed charges including involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment, saying the evidence is insufficient. But Prestia says six of the seven remaining defendants can be tried on less serious misdemeanor hazing charges.

Tampering, hindering apprehension and obstruction charges were dismissed against the seventh defendant. Two others previously pleaded guilty.

The seven Beta Theta Pi fraternity members were going through another hearing because a county judge reinstated charges previously dismissed by a district judge.

The charges stem from the 2017 death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza of New Jersey.

Piazza died of severe head and abdominal injuries. Authorities say he consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol.

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