Prosecutors Show Surveillance Video from Night Penn State Frat Pledge Died

A video was played in court Monday showing the victim of alleged hazing at Penn State having 18 drinks in only 90 min...

Posted: Mar 27, 2018 12:12 PM
Updated: Mar 27, 2018 12:12 PM

A video was played in court Monday showing the victim of alleged hazing at Penn State having 18 drinks in only 90 minutes before several falls killed him.

Attorneys for 11 fraternity members were back in court for a hearing in the death of a pledge. For the first time, prosecutors showed surveillance video from the night Timothy Piazza died.

Members of the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office pulled boxes of evidence behind them on their way into the Centre County Courthouse on day two of a preliminary hearing for 11 former Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers charged in connection with the death of a pledge in February of last year.

The attorney general's office has new evidence: surveillance video from the basement of that frat house on Penn State's main campus.

Prosecutors claim fraternity members deleted that video to cover up the hazing and excessive drinking that led up to the death of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza.

Piazza's parents left the courtroom before the video was shown. Attorney Tom Kline sat in for the family.

"In the basement, it showed Tim Piazza and other pledges being forced to drink in a row, lined up in a row like prisoners, drinking alcohol," Kline said.

Before the case was handed over to the state, the former Centre County district attorney showed some surveillance video from the night of the hazing.

Some of that video was played during this hearing along with the new video from the basement where, according to investigators, a few of the fraternity brothers found Piazza seemingly passed out and carried him upstairs.

Several hours passed during which surveillance video shows Piazza wandering around the house, falling several times and hitting his head. He ends up back in the basement where the video shows him crawling around and eventually looking stiff. Investigators say once the brothers found him again it took them another 40 minutes to call for help.

"We saw them today literally having discussions over his limp body. They knew, understood, recognized that he was hurt when he fell down those stairs," said Kline.

Investigators were able to recover the video they say the accused tried to delete in order to cover up what really happened that night.

That video shows Piazza was given 18 drinks in an hour and a half.

Last week, the Piazza family and State Senator Jake Corman proposed the Timothy Piazza anti-hazing law which would carry serious consequences for hazing incidents.

One of the defendants is Gary DiBileo of Scranton. He showed up for previous hearings but was not in court for this one. He now faces charges of furnishing alcohol to minors and prosecutors refiled a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

"None of the conduct here is any different. Gary was still one of the individuals who wanted to get Piazza help. We saw that even more perhaps in some of the video clips," said DiBileo's attorney Michael Engle. "In this case, I'm not concerned about furnishing alcohol to minors charges, I'm concerned about the homicide charge."

DiBileo and 10 other former fraternity brothers have been excused from attending this preliminary hearing. The attorneys involved are due back in court Tuesday.

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