Another dozen Penn State fraternity brothers charged in Tim Piazza hazing death

Penn State Frat House

The district attorney re-filed charges and added new charges after recovering video allegedly previously deleted by Beta Theta Pi brothers.

Last month, prosecutors announced they moved to reinstate most of the dismissed charges against 11 members of a now-disbanded Penn State fraternity for actions related to the hazing death of Piazza earlier this year.

The new video evidence was recovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation from security camera video which was previously deleted from the fraternity house, District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller confirmed Monday.

She said the frat's extensive video security system captured numerous events that happened that day, but that much of it was deleted while police were at the frat house.

Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore from New Jersey, died after tumbling down a flight of stairs and fracturing his skull during an alcohol-fueled pledge ritual at the Beta Theta Pi house on February 4. Another 11 frat members are already facing similar charges.

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Seventeen former Beta Theta Pi members are facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault, hazing, furnishing alcohol and unlawful acts relative to liquor, Parks Miller announced Monday afternoon. Becker was one of the original defendants charged in the case. Before the fall, Piazza had been forced to consume at least 18 drinks in less than an hour and a half, according to prosecutors.

"The basement video captures the ongoing hazing that occurred on bid acceptance night and the continued repeated furnishing of alcohol by Beta brothers to Tim Piazza, as well as the other pledges, throughout the evening", the district attorney's office said in a statement, according to WTAE-TV.

The men will be arraigned on November 2, Miller said. Texts also showed they discussed the video footage filmed inside the house.

The entire video system was sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for further analysis, right in the middle of a preliminary hearing for the fraternity brothers. But prosecutors say a fraternity member erased key footage from a basement camera. Fourteen hours after Piazza showed up to the event he was rushed to the hospital.

Fraternity members debated for 40 minutes before calling for an ambulance as Piazza lay suffering from a fractured skull, ruptured spleen and collapsed lung.

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