Penn State fraternity, eight students charged in pledge’s death

Getty Images/John Greim(STATE COLLEGE, Penn.) -- Eighteen Pennsylvania State University students and a fraternity at the school are facing charges in connection with the death of Beta Theta Pi pledge Timothy Piazza, who died after falling down stairs at the frat house during a pledge ceremony, prosecutors said on Friday.

This comes three months after the Feb. 4 death of the 19-year-old sophomore.

On the morning of Feb. 3, police were called to the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house, where Piazza was found unconscious. Fraternity members said Piazza fell down the basement stairs while intoxicated the night before, the State College police said at the time.

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said Friday that Piazza had two serious falls during the night. By the time he went to the hospital on Feb. 3, it was too late. Nobody called for help on behalf of Piazza for the next 12 hours, according to authorities.

Eighteen students are facing charges: eight for involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and hazing, among other charges; four for reckless endangerment and hazing, among other charges; and six for evidence tampering. The fraternity itself is facing charges including involuntary manslaughter and hazing.

Penn State said in February that its governing body for all fraternities as well as the fraternity's national organization had placed Beta Theta Pi on temporary cease and desist until all investigations were complete.

More details in the video below.

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