Judge tosses most serious charges in Penn State fraternity death

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A Pennsylvania judge has dismissed charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault against eight fraternity members at Penn State in the hazing death of a pledge who fell down the stairs after drinking heavily.

Judge Allen Sinclair of Centre County allowed trial on lesser charges against 12 members of Beta Theta Pi and dismissed four other fraternity members from the case, report PhillyNews.com, Reuters and the Associated Press. Two other fraternity members have already agreed to stand trial.

Sinclair found there was insufficient evidence to support the more serious charges. The lesser charges allowed to stand include reckless endangerment, hazing and alcohol violations.

Tim Piazza, 19, died in February after suffering a fractured skull, a ruptured spleen and collapsed lung.

District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said she will seek to have the involuntary manslaughter charges reinstated, and may seek to also refile the aggravated assault charges. She had argued during the preliminary hearing that the fraternity members acted like “out-of-control savages.”




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