The 2017 death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza drew nationwide attention to fraternity hazing and led to anti-hazing legislation here in Pennsylvania.
Surprisingly, the Piazza case is still being argued in court and according to a new ruling from a federal judge, it could be well over a year before it’s resolved.
Investigators say Timothy Piazza died after attending a pledge event in February of 2017 at the former Beta Theta Pi fraternity house at Penn State.
Police said Piazza was overserved alcohol and then fell down steps, and medical help wasn’t called for nearly eleven hours.
In total, 28 people were charged in the resulting criminal case, but for two of the defendants, Brendan Young and Daniel Casey, the criminal case is ongoing due to a dispute over cell phone evidence.
Piazza’s parents filed a wrongful death civil suit against the defendants, but the federal judge overseeing the case again this week said the criminal proceedings in Centre County court have precedent over the civil case.
That includes efforts to interview, for the civil suit, two former State College police detectives who were on the original Piazza case, and now work for the attorney general’s office.
The AG’s office won’t allow them to be interviewed for the civil case, until the criminal proceedings are concluded.
A Centre County judge recently set September 2024 as a possible date for the criminal trial for Young and Casey.