State College, PA - New charges have been filed against several Penn State University fraternity members in the hazing death of pledge Timothy Piazza, after prosecutors reviewed a surveillance video from the frat house.
The video showed various Beta Theta Pi fraternity members giving 19-year-old Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey, 18 alcoholic beverages in the span of one hour and 22 minutes, according to FOX News.
The video had been deleted by fraternity members after they learned police were investigating Piazza's death, and that they planned to review the video. The FBI was able to recover the video, according to WCAU.
After reviewing the video, Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller added 12 more fraternity brothers as suspects.
Prosecutors said that Piazza, a sophomore at Penn State, fell down a flight of stairs and suffered fatal injuries on Feb. 3.
Pledges, including Piazza, were forced by fraternity members to drink a dangerous amount of alcohol and then made to run a “gauntlet” of booze-drinking stations.
The video showed the continuous hazing that occurred on bid acceptance night at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house.
It showed an obviously-intoxicated Piazza being led to a couch, and then falling down the steps a few minutes later. He was unconscious when frat members carried him back upstairs.
Fraternity members waited 12 hours to call for help.
In the meantime, the video showed they poured liquid on him to try to get him to wake up, and put a full backpack on him so he wouldn't roll over and choke on his vomit.
Earlier this year, several fraternity members were charged criminally in Piazza's death.
In September, District Justice Allen Sinclair threw out felony charges against eight fraternity members, but allowed misdemeanor charges to stand against them, and six others. He dismissed all charges against four other members.
After Judge Sinclair's ruling, prosecutors said they intended to reinstate most of the charges.
Parks Miller recently announced the new charges, and also the refiling of criminal charges, including involuntary manslaughter and felony aggravated assault.
A 65-page report had earlier been compiled by a Centre County grand jury, which outlined a total of 1,098 charges against 18 fraternity members and the fraternity itself.
On Monday, prosecutors charged Ryan Liam Burke, Bo Han Sang, Joshua Robert Kurczewski, Aiden O’Brien, and Jonathan Kanzler with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter for their roles in Piazza’s death.
They also were charged with misdemeanor simple assault, misdemeanor recklessly endangering another person, misdemeanor hazing, and misdemeanor furnishing liquor to a minor, according to the district attorney.
Additionally, prosecutors charged Joseph Ems, Brian Gelb, Patrick Jackson, Reggie Goeke, Donald Prior, and Mike Fernandez with misdemeanor hazing and misdemeanor furnishing alcohol to minors.
Braxton Becker has been charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing administration of the law and hindering apprehension, for attempting to destroy the video.
In a statement last week, Penn State University said that disciplinary action had been taken against seven students in connection with Piazza's death. Those students were found to be in violation of the university's code of conduct.
University officials would not list specific punishments or the students' names, citing student privacy, but said that punishments ranged from probation to expulsion.
Penn State’s Beta Theta Pi fraternity was placed on probation by the national chapter in 2009. That probation led to an "interim suspension" a few weeks later, and the chapter was ultimately disbanded.
It was re-opened in August, 2010, under "new management" of a group of fraternity brothers, and won a prestigious award in 2012.
The Penn State chapter of Beta Theta Pi was disbanded again following Piazza’s death on bid night.