Penn State Releases Statement in Response to New Beta Theta Pi Charges

Tim Piazza death investigation: Prosecutor announces new charges

Investigators on Monday said they recovered deleted security camera footage taken inside a Penn State fraternity house and had filed dozens of new charges in the death of a pledge who consumed a unsafe amount of alcohol and suffered fatal injuries.

Stacy Parks Miller, Centre County's district attorney, told reporters that the video confirms that Beta Theta Pi pledge Timothy Piazza was given at least 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes.

Parks Miller said tampering with evidence and two other misdemeanors were filed against Braxton Becker, the fraternity's house manager, who allegedly secretly deleted the basement video in front of police officers on February 6.

"It was obvious what occurred", she said, "I don't think we should have needed it, I think it's obvious what happened without having the video".

The new charges include involuntary manslaughter, hazing and giving alcohol to minors.

Twelve new defendants were implicated in the case Monday. Authorities recovered video footage that had allegedly been deleted by Piazza's peers, showing he consumed 18 alcoholic drinks in one hour and 22 minutes, according to the Centre Daily Times.

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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.

Piazza fell down a set of stairs and suffered fatal injuries in February after prosecutors said pledges were forced to drink a unsafe amount of alcohol and were then made to run a "gauntlet" of booze-drinking stations.

In a statement released Monday, Miller said video shows fraternity brothers ordering pledges to drink wine, beer, and vodka. A preliminary hearing is expected to be held before then. A judge in early September threw out the most serious charges - involuntary manslaughter and felony aggravated assault - against eight defendants.

In late October, Parks Miller refiled the dismissed felony charges against Brendan Young, Luke Visser, Gary DiBileo and Michael Bonatucci. The other charges, totaling almost 900, included aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, hazing, and providing alcohol to minors.

According to Parks Miller, the basement video clearly shows a continuation of the hazing activity previously captured upstairs during the gauntlet.

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