A Pennsylvania prosecutor charged an additional 12 members of a Pennsylvania State University fraternity on Monday in the death of a 19-year-old student after examining recovered surveillance-camera video of an alcohol-fueled initiation rite that turned deadly.
Timothy Piazza died on Feb. 4 after a drinking game at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house in the town of State College as part of a hazing ritual, in which would-be members face degrading challenges.
A total of 17 fraternity members are now facing various charges, including involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, hazing and furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor in a state that bans drinking under the age of 21.
Announcing the new charges, Stacy Parks Miller, Centre County’s district attorney, said the recovered footage, which had been deleted after the fraternity learned police were planning to seize the video, clearly showed criminal conduct.
The video captured a drinking game called “The Gauntlet” that played out during a party in the fraternity house’s basement and showed Piazza being given at least 18 drinks over a period of 1 hour and 22 minutes, Parks Miller said.
(Additional reporting and writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Daniel Wallis and James Dalgleish)