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18 face charges in death of Penn State fraternity pledge

Eighteen fraternity brothers are facing charges in the death of Beta Theta Pi fraternity pledge Timothy Piazza, eight of them manslaughter charges. (WJAC)

BELLEFONTE, Penn. (WJAC) - Eighteen fraternity brothers are facing charges in the death of Beta Theta Pi fraternity pledge Timothy Piazza, eight of them manslaughter charges.

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller announced the charges recommended by a grand jury during a news conference Friday at the Centre County Courthouse.

Brendan Young, Daniel Casey, Jonah Neuman, Nick Kubera, Michael Bonatucci, Gary Dibileo, Luke Visser and Joe Sala face involuntary manslaughter charges, Parks Miller said.

The fraternity is also charged with manslaughter.

The eight individuals are scheduled to surrender to law enforcement authorities and be arraigned Friday afternoon in the Court of Common Pleas.

Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore from New Jersey, died on Feb. 4 from injuries he suffered after he fell down a set of stairs Feb. 2 during pledge night at the fraternity.

Parks Miller said Piazza was attending a bid acceptance party and was warned ahead of time that there would be a lot of drinking.

She said there was a drinking game called “running the gauntlet” in which pledges run from station to station and drink enormous amounts of alcohol.

Parks Miller said Piazza had a blood-alcohol content of .40 percent within 10 minutes.

He fell down the stairs at the fraternity.

Fraternity members saw the injuries to his head, Parks Miller said, and let him lie on a couch while hovering over him for hours.

The DA said video of the incident showed that Piazza’s condition worsened throughout the night and and he got up and fell four more times. She said he fell down the stairs again.

Parks Miller said fraternity brothers gathered around him in the morning and said he looked dead.

She said some of the brothers Googled “What do to for a head injury.”

“They waited over 40 minutes before they called for help,” Parks Miller said. “By then, it was too late.”


Parks Miller said some brothers could be heard in the background on video saying,

"We can't get caught or we're going to be in big trouble."

Below is the full 81-page document released by the grand jury.

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