Frat Member Hearings
At a preliminary hearing today, prosecutors revealed texts and internet searches allegedly sent and made by some at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house. Other texts revealed by prosecutors today that were allegedly sent by some of the then-fraternity brothers, said, "I think after this we could be kicked off." Someone allegedly texted, "When they see the video footage of the obstacle course we will be done." One then-fraternity member allegedly asked, "What times did they take tape of?" and another member replied, "Nah, they took tapes from 7 to 9:30am." "F--- yes," the first fraternity brother responded. "We should be good," the second fraternity brother said. After Piazza's injury, one of the fraternity members allegedly texted another, "Make sure the pledges clean the basement and get rid of any evidence of alcohol." Another text said, "Make sure the pledges keep quiet about last night and this situation." Prosecutors also said one of the young men did an internet search for: "How would 9 drinks in an hour affect a 200 pound guy." In the days before the party, receipts show fraternity members bought nearly $700 worth of alcohol, prosecutors said today. A former Penn State fraternity member charged in connection with the death of pledge Timothy Piazza at the fraternity house earlier this year allegedly texted his girlfriend "drink hazing can send me to jail," and "I don't want to go to jail for this" after the pledge suffered what turned out to be a fatal injury. "I think we are f-----," the ex-fraternity brother allegedly said. Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore and pledge at Beta Theta Pi, died on Feb. 4 after he fell down the stairs during a night of drinking for a pledge ceremony at the house on the night of Feb. 2. In text messages, fraternity members refer to the pledge ceremony drinking as an "obstacle course." Fraternity members did not call 911 until the morning of Feb. 3, about 12 hours after Piazza's fall, according to a report on the grand jury's investigation. Piazza's death "was the direct result of traumatic brain injuries," according to the forensic pathologist. Prosecutors claim the former fraternity brothers at Beta Theta Pi waited to get Piazza help in an attempt to cover up their drinking and "coordinate a story." Eighteen Penn State students are facing charges: eight for involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and hazing, among other charges; four for reckless endangerment and hazing, among other charges; and six for evidence tampering. The Beta Theta Pi fraternity which has since been barred from Penn State is facing charges including involuntary manslaughter and hazing. No defendants have entered pleas at this time.