Criminal & Civil Justice News

Hearing in Penn State pledge’s death begins 5th day


In this May 5, 2017, file photo, Centre County, Pa., District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller, left, announces the findings of an investigation into the death of Penn State University fraternity pledge Tim Piazza, seen in photo at right, as his parents, Jim and Evelyn Piazza, second and third from left, stand nearby during a news conference in Bellefonte, Pa. A preliminary hearing is set to resume Thursday, Aug. 10 for members of Penn State University's now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi fraternity chapter, accused in the Feb. 4 death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, N.J., after a night of heavy drinking. (Abby Drey /Centre Daily Times via AP, File)

In this May 5, 2017, file photo, Centre County, Pa., District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller, left, announces the findings of an investigation into the death of Penn State University fraternity pledge Tim Piazza, seen in photo at right, as his parents, Jim and Evelyn Piazza, second and third from left, stand nearby during a news conference in Bellefonte, Pa. A preliminary hearing is set to resume Thursday, Aug. 10 for members of Penn State University’s now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi fraternity chapter, accused in the Feb. 4 death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, N.J., after a night of heavy drinking. (Abby Drey /Centre Daily Times via AP, File)

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — A fifth day of testimony has begun in a criminal case related to the death of a Penn State pledge after heavy drinking that accompanied a fraternity bid acceptance event.

The preliminary hearing involves the since-closed Beta Theta Pi fraternity and 16 of its members. It resumes Friday with cross-examination of the lead detective.

The judge will decide if prosecutors have enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

The charges relate to the February death of 19-year-old pledge Tim Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Authorities say he consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol and fell several times. He suffered severe head and abdominal injuries.

Some defendants are accused of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault, while others are accused of hazing violations and evidence tampering.

MARK SCOLFORO

Source: AP

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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