Niskayuna grad charged in Penn State hazing death


He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on accusations he tampered with evidence.

Eight members of Beta Theta Pi on Penn State University's campus, will face a judge for their arraignment on Tuesday, according to the District Attorney's office.

Piazza died after taking part in a hazing ritual for the Alpha Upsilon chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity's bid acceptance night on February 2, authorities allege. During the gauntlet phase, Piazza and other pledges were made to stop at different stations with brothers of the fraternity and drink large amounts of alcohol.

The grand jury said it had learned numerous members were both aware of the risks of excessive drinking and certain that Piazza's injuries would be seen as the result of hazing at the fraternity.

"A crime ends in death, we take it seriously and we will seek an appropriate sentence considering that fact", says Miller.

Daniel Casey, 19, of Ronkonkoma, New York: Aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter, simple assault, reckless endangerment, evidence tampering, hazing, alcohol-related charges.

"I was manipulated into thinking everything was going to be fine", Davis said on Good Morning America on Monday, referring to the pushback he received from other fraternity members when he suggested that Piazza needed medical help. Piazza died of a traumatic brain injury two days later.

Prosecutors charged 18 students at Penn State University over his death.

Schiavone and Kenyon faced the most charges with 52 counts each ranging from reckless endangerment, hazing, furnishing alcohol to minors and unlawful acts relative to liquor.

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It's alleged Piazza got so drunk during a hazing ritual that he fell down a flight of stairs and eventually died.

A legal analyst and the attorney representing the Piazza family say that a lawsuit against the University isn't out of the question.

Another fraternity member shoved Davis against a wall and told him they "had it under control" and he should leave, according to the presentment.

Despite the repeated urging of some members to call for help, it was 12 hours before anyone called 911.

He did not mention Piazza's name but told the dispatcher that the victim was breathing and 19 years old.

The following is a timeline of the events as described in the grand jury report.

Weeks after the hazing incident was reported, Penn State permanently banned Beta Theta Pi fraternity and put new restrictions on fraternities and sororities aimed at reducing hazing and forced drinking. Forensic pathologist Harry Kamerow estimated that Piazza's blood alcohol content was a risky 0.36 percent at the time he fell down the stairs. Roughly five minutes later he is seen moving out of the camera's sightline, then a fraternity brother points "agitatedly in the direction of the basement stairs".

Video evidence showed that they "helped" him by splashing water on his face and strapping a heavy backpack on him to keep him on his side so that he wouldn't choke on his vomit.

"We had found at least on just the cell phones that they had been doing it for semester after semester after semester", Miller said.