Prosecutors filed dozens of new charges in the death of Timothy Piazza, the Penn State Beta Theta Pi pledge who died in February. The charges were announced Monday after the FBI recovered deleted video.
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said the new evidence led to 12 new defendants facing charges in the case, in addition to the 14 others already facing charges, reports 6ABC. Five of the 14 others had new charges filed against them Monday.
After viewing the new evidence, police said the 19-year-old Piazza was given at least 18 drinks in under 90 minutes. Investigators said the video was deleted by one of the frat brothers as equipment was being given to authorities.
The district attorney's office said in a press release Monday that the fraternity brothers "led police to believe that the basement cameras had been inoperable. However, after later examining one of the DVR surveillance boxes, State College Police uncovered evidence that the basement camera footage had actually been manually deleted just as State College Police were poised to take possession of the recording equipment."
Piazza's father, Jim Piazza, gave a statement during the Monday press conference, reports Centre Daily.
“Tim was a happy and caring human being, and a wonderful son, who just wanted to join an organization to find friendships and camaraderie,” he said of his son. “Instead, he was killed at the hands of those he was seeking friendship from.”
Ryan Liam Burke, 21; Aidan O’Brien, 20; Jonathan Kanzler, 19; Joshua Kurczewski, 19; and Bo Han Song, 19, are all facing new felony charges in Piazza's death, reports Centre Daily. Their charges include felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter.
Joseph Ems, Brian Gelb, Patrick Jackson, Reggie Goeke, Donald Prior, Mike Fernandez and Braxton Becker are also among the new defendants in the case. Luke Visser, Gary Dibilio, Nick Kubera, Michael Bonatucci and Parker Yochim were previously charged, but are facing new charges after the recovery of the new evidence.
Piazza allegedly fell down the fraternity's basement stars on the night of Feb. 2. However, police did not arrive at the house until 10:49 a.m. on Feb. 3. He was treated at Mount Nittany Medical Center and Hershey Medical Center, but never recovered. He died on Feb. 4.
"Hazing is illegal and justice needs to be served," Jim Piazza said Monday. "It's time to man up, fellas, and be held accountable for your actions."