<<BACK

Multiple Frat House Charges
5/5/2017
 
  View Video
 
 
Graphic and disturbing details released Today about the night Penn State student and pledge Timothy Piazza died. 18 People were charged including 8 now facing Manslaughter charges. We were there when the investigation findings were announced. Friday words of grief and sadness. The Penn State community continues to morn his death. Words of shock. "This is a very sad day. A very sad day for Centre County." By far the most powerful words coming from a grieving father struggling to talk about the loss of a beloved son. "We dropped two sons off at Penn State University to further their college experience. Today were only going to be bringing one home." The Grand Jury report on the death outlined charges against 18 Penn State students members of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. Eight are charged with Manslaughter stemming from their actions on the night the 19-year-old fell down the steps so drunk his alcohol level five times the legal limit. Fraternity members didn't do enough to help him and tried to cover the up their actions. It was caught on cameras inside the fraternity house. "The video tape evidence is a crucial piece of evidence." Another powerful statement from the Grand Jury in the report of the Penn State Greek System. Saying in cases like this there is little regard too the man's life. The Penn State President is beyond frustrated. "I never want to do this ever again. Okay, but if you looking to at every reasonable measure short of us sitting in that house on private property, privately managed, I do not see how it is the University will ever know that it is happening." The Grand Jury report is heart-wrenching, sickening and incomprehensible. As for what happened in the fraternity house the night he suffered injuries the police report said he was forced to run the gauntlet. The D.A. Explains more. "He was warned ahead of time there was going to be drinking. And a lot of drinking as part of this fraternity's rituals. When the he got to the fraternity they had the night set up for him called a gauntlet. They made the pledges, soon to be brothers run from station to station and drink enormous amounts of alcohol in different phases." The council at Penn State took time today to respond to the charges dealt out saying "our thoughts are lying with the family as the justice process moves forward. Our focus is leading the change Penn State needs to prevent a senseless tragedy like to this from happening in the future. It going on to say the best way to shift culture is for students and the University to work together." The parents of the student stood in tears today following the announcement saying what happened shouldn't have. "This didn't have to happen. This is the result of disobedience of the law and disregard of moral values." His family described him as a smart and funny man. Who liked to make people laugh and meet new friends. Now they are left with a hole in their hearts. "So in August we dropped off our son's here at Penn State University to further his college experience. Today we are only going to be bringing one of them home due to a senseless and preventable tragedy." His parents say they are committed to making meaningful and impactfull changes across the country to make sure other parents never go through the grief they are suffering through now. This is normally a very happy time for students at Penn State. Families getting together to celebrate graduation and looking forward to summer. For many that was not the case today as word of the charges hit campus. We spent just about the whole day downtown talking to students both Greek and non- Greek. Some of the families here for graduation. And even business owners. One thing they all had in common is they all told me they are afraid to talk about this subject and charges and Greek life in general, afraid there will be legal implications or they'll be roped in. The streets of State College are packed as students and families wrap up the Spring semester. Many families were glued to phones on Thursday watching live as the charges were spread. "I think a lot of times we gloss over what happens in fraternities." Shocked but not in that bad way. "At the same time I was happy. The thought that this kid would be receiving justice." Many students say they are afraid to talk about the the charges or Greek life in general. Afraid of University leaders or legal implications. A touchy subject for non- Greeks. Greek students say they are prohibited from speaking leaving the rest of State College with questions Greeks say they can not answer and negative reputations they can not defend. "It has been from the the culture of the Greek Life. I grew up around here. Everything I heard it has never been a positive thing." Downtown business owners say they are scared to talk about the charges, too. Not knowing how taking sides would affect business with college students. Despite the charges some student says they do still see a positive Greek impact with support systems. "I know that a lot of Greek Life is really upset about it. My friends that are in Greek Life are defensive over it. And feel it was a horrible representation of what they are about. But at the same time I question it. Like it is still happening. It can't be all that great." Students also tell me they do want people to be reminded of the fact that not all students only spend their time there drinking and partying. Just hours after the Grand Jury's finding were released several of the 18 fraternity members named and charged are headed to court. Ten students stood in front of the Judge this afternoon. After their arraignment they were sent home on bail. That means none of them are going to jail unless they don't show up for their hearing May 17th. Inside the courtroom the former members of the fraternity stood aside parents and attorneys as the charges were read allowed against them. They must follow the rules they were given. That's notifying the court if they travel outside of their home state or Pennsylvania. They all have ten days to surrender their passports to the Centre County Attorney. Defendants are not allowed to drink alcohol or take nonprescription drugs. We talked to a few of the defendant's attorneys. They said their clients are remorseful and nothing was done with intention. "You have to digest all the information we are given. Then you'll be in better position to respond. Thank you very much." The judge also listed the maximum penalties these students could face for involuntary manslaughter is 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Their hearing is May 17th.
  
 
  FIND NEWS BY THE FOLLOWING:
Category
County