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Recovered deleted video leads to new charges

Recovered deleted video leads to new charges

District Attorney Stacy Parks Mills said the former members of Beta Theta Pi erased video that showed Piazza consuming 18 drinks over the course of an hour and 22 minutes.

Newly recovered security camera footage from inside a Penn State fraternity house showed a pledge had been given at least 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes, investigators said Monday in announcing dozens of new charges related to the pledge's death. "In all", The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "25 Beta Theta Pi members now face charges".

The future of this case remains uncertain with Parks Miller losing her bid for re-election. His attorney, Karen Muir, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Piazza died of a fractured skull and other injuries two days after drinking a risky amount of alcohol at a pledge ceremony and falling down basement stairs. The D.A. said that video was deleted while police were at the house, but was recovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. When one pledge tried to intervene, insisting they get Piazza some help, he was shoved into a wall and told the brothers had it under control.

"Brothers were coming up to him and giving him those drinks", Miller said. The footage was deleted by a former member of Beta Theta Pi two days after Piazza's death, according to detective David Scicchitano.

Tim Piazza (center) is pictured with his parents, Evelyn and James.

.

Piazza's father, Jim Piazza, referenced the defense attorneys and their efforts to "blame the victim", when he spoke to reporters Monday.

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"We have spent the last eight months wondering how this could happen", he said.

A lawyer for Joseph Ems, who had previously faced a reckless-endangerment charge that was dismissed by the district judge, said he plans to seek dismissal of the three fresh charges against his client: hazing, furnishing alcohol to a minor and an alcohol violation. The fraternity members seen serving Tim Piazza specifically, were charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering. That night, after taking part in an alcohol-fueled hazing ritual known as the "Gauntlet", a heavily intoxicated Piazza was heard falling down the stairs.

"When it's over is when he falls", she said of the basement party.

The footage was the basis for charges against 10 additional defendants, as well as seven who had been charged previously.

Five of the new defendants are charged with involuntary manslaughter. Donald Prior Hazing Furnishing Alcohol to Minors Unlawful Acts Relative to Liquor 12.

In addition, more charges were levied against five fraternity brothers who already were charged in the initial round. He also addressed the defendants in his remarks.

"State College Police sent the box to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose agents were able to restore the video from the deleted hard drive", the district attorney's office added.


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