INDIANA (KDKA) – An Indiana University of Pennsylvania student will stand trial in connection with the death of a fraternity brother following a fight.
Brady DiStephano, 19, appeared in court Wednesday morning, where he was held for trial on charges of aggravated assault and criminal homicide.
In February, DiStephano got into a fight with 20-year-old Caleb Zweig on a street near the IUP campus.
“Before you charge another young man with criminal homicide, I think you need some evidence to support that,” said defense attorney Thomas Dickey.
DiStephano’s defense attorney argued there may have been a confrontation between his client and Zwieg, but from the defense’s standpoint, the autopsy report didn’t match allegations that DiStephano asphyxiated the victim.
“Mechanical strangulation, which absolutely, positively, you heard the doctor say there was no evidence to that whatsoever,” said Dickey. “Chokehold, nothing, nothing to support that.”
The only eyewitness to the incident took the stand during Wednesday hearing.
“The eyewitness that was there, who saw this incident happen, his testimony today was that it took… he had to yank him off of him and that his hands were up in the chest/neck area,” said Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty.
The DA also talked about the charges the suspect is facing.
“We’re not seeking first- or second-degree [murder]; we’re only seeking third or manslaughter in this case,” Doughtery said.
DiStephano and Zwieg both attended IUP.
For Dougherty, the tragic events, whatever the reason, teach a stark lesson.
“Actions have consequences,” he said.
DiStephano remains free on $50,000 straight cash bond.