PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A judge has dismissed the most serious charges against eight Penn State fraternity brothers in the death of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza who died after a night of alcohol-fueled hazing.
Instead, 12 members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity now face charges of reckless endangerment and furnishing alcohol to minors.
The district attorney prosecuting the Piazza case says she’ll seek to re-file the most serious charges of involuntary homicide and aggravated assault.
Centre County District Attorney Stacey Parks Miller told reporters after the judge’s ruling, “We’re going to carefully consider which ones, certainly the manslaughter is being re-filed, that’s a no brainer.”
Defense attorney Ted Simon said, “Unfortunately, not every tragedy should result in serious criminal charges.”
There was quick reaction to the twist in the PSU hazing case on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh on Friday evening.
“I think all the charges should have been fully imposed, because this was a very serious incident, especially if you’re intoxicated,” sophomore, Michael Fry, said.
“The way a lot of people could see it is that it was a lone act of irresponsibility,” Joshua Upadhyay, a member of Phi Kappa Theta, said. “People need to remember that this is not about all of us in Greek life.”
Pi Kappa Phi member, Bradford Distler, said, “I’m actually very surprised because something like this is totally unacceptable. It’s the wrong message, and puts out a bad stigma on all Greek life in college.”
Adam Lock, from Springdale, is going into his junior year at Pitt. He’s president of the Pitt chapter of Phi Kappa Theta.
He told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “We’re always on top of everything here, making sure everyone is okay, making sure everyone is safe, our new members, things like that.”