Beta Theta Pi

Timothy Piazza's parents as they entered the courthouse this morning in Bellefonte.
Min Xian / WPSU

A judge has dropped all involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges for the 18 Penn State fraternity members charged in the death of pledge Timothy Piazza. Some defendants are going to trial for lesser charges. 

The most serious charges of the case have been dismissed by Judge Allen Sinclair, but 14 defendants are still going to trial for hazing and furnishing. Seven also face reckless endangerment charges. 

Defense attorney Michael Engle says his client, Gary DiBileo, knows there’s no winner in the case.

Bellefonte courthouse
Min Xian / WPSU

All closing arguments have been made for the preliminary hearing of Penn State fraternity members charged in the hazing death of Timothy Piazza. Judge Allen Sinclair will announce Friday whether the case will go to trial. 

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said each defendant played a role in causing the death of Timothy Piazza. She said the fraternity and its members orchestrated the hazing and were fully aware of the fatal consequences.

Jim Piazza (front left) and Thomas Kline spoke as they left the courthouse in Bellefonte on August 30, 2017.
Min Xian / WPSU

The live-in advisor for Penn State fraternity Beta Theta Pi testified on Wednesday, while the defense continued to question his role in relation to the death of Timothy Piazza. Tim Bream was the last witness before the preliminary hearing moved on to closing arguments.

Bream is a university employee who lives full time in the fraternity house. On the night of bid acceptance, where Piazza suffered multiple injuries that eventually led to his death, Bream was in the house.

He said he knew about the event, but never gave permission for the “gauntlet” or other alcohol use.

Stacy Parks Millers annouced charges
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Beta Theta Pi is asking for the return of surveillance video and equipment belonging to the fraternity and taken by the State College Police Department in February. The security footage has provided crucial evidence in pressing charges against 18 fraternity members in relation to the death of Timothy Piazza.

State College Police Detective Keith Robb testified on Friday. Robb says the fraternity consented to providing the police department with the video equipment because the footage was too huge to download at the house.

Stacy Parks Miller speaking to reporters.
Min Xian / WPSU

A surprising new detail was revealed Thursday at the preliminary hearing of Penn State fraternity members charged in the death of Timothy Piazza. 

State College Police Detective David Scicchitano said the investigation suspects the security footage of the basement in Beta Theta Pi’s house was deleted on February 6.

William Brennan being interviewed by reporters
Emily Reddy / WPSU

On what’s scheduled to be the last day of preliminary hearings for 18 Penn State fraternity members charged in relation to the death of pledge Timothy Piazza, by a lunch break only two lawyers had a chance to cross-examine Det. David Scicchitano.

Stephen Trialonas is the defense attorney for Daniel Casey, the pledge master for Beta Theta Pi.

Thomas Kline at podium
Emily Reddy / WPSU

The preliminary hearing continues Tuesday for 18 Penn State fraternity members in the hazing-related death of pledge Timothy Piazza. 

Centre County DA Stacy Parks Miller spent the morning on Monday outlining the involvement of each Beta Theta Pi member charged in Piazza’s death. They face charges that include aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

Penn State Students On The Future Of Greek Life

Jun 20, 2017
Beta Theta Pi fraternity building
Emily Reddy / WPSU

It’s new student orientation time, and incoming freshmen roam the HUB-Robeson student center at Penn State University Park. They’ve been following the Timothy Piazza case, and most of them say it’s made joining a fraternity less appealing.

“I feel like the fraternities here are maybe a little bit too wild,” said incoming Penn State  freshman Dan Zhang. “I may have wanted to join a fraternity, but now, I kind of want to wait a couple years, see how things go.”

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller at podium next to a photo of Timothy Piazza and with his parents in person
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Penn State’s Beta Theta Pi and 18 members of the fraternity are being charged in the February death of a fellow fraternity member. The Centre County District Attorney announced the charges and held the first of the arraignments Friday after a months-long Grand Jury investigation.

Centre County DA Stacy Parks Miller described the night fraternity pledge Timothy Piazza fell down a flight of stairs as a gauntlet of drinking events.

Fraternity Charter Revoked Following Student Death

Feb 17, 2017
Old Main building at Penn State

Penn State has revoked the charter of fraternity Beta Theta Pi effective immediately. The ban will last at least five years and may become permanent based on the results of a criminal investigation into the February 3rd death of student Timothy Piazza.

Piazza fell down a flight of stairs at the chapter house, and was not taken to the hospital until 12 hours later. His death is the focus of a criminal investigation by the State College Police Department and an internal investigation by the Office of Student Conduct.