- Prosecutors will announce the results of an investigation into the death of a Penn State student on Friday morning.
Piazza, a sophomore from New Jersey, died on February 4 after getting intoxicated and at least twice falling down the basement stairs of the frat house two days earlier, Miller's office said. The fraternity itself also faces charges, officials said at a news conference Friday. We reached out to Beta Theta Pi for comment and will update upon getting a response.
The fraternity brothers' actions, and inaction, were detailed in grand jury investigation findings released Friday by Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller.
Nine members of the fraternity are expected to surrender to police for arraignment at the Centre County Court House at 2 p.m.
"The Penn State Greek community nurtured an environment so permissive of excessive drinking and hazing that it emboldened its members to repeatedly act with reckless disregard to human life", the grand jury said.
Timothy Piazza, 19, died after falling and hitting his head several times while heavily intoxicated.
Piazza died while pledging the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house on February 2, 2017.
He said they are committed "to doing everything that we can so that no other parents will have to go through the pain and grief we are now experiencing".
A further 10 students face charges that include tampering with evidence, reckless endangerment, hazing and furnishing alcohol to minors.
The grand jury's presentment describes pledges forced through a gauntlet of drinking stations at the party that night, at which they were ordered to quickly drink vodka, shotgun a beer, and so on.
On Feb. 5, Brendan Young, the president of the Penn State chapter, discussed concerns about "lawsuits" with another member. Authorities say help wasn't called for 12 hours. When informed he had fallen down the stairs, he said Piazza should go to the hospital, but was told to leave and that "they had it under control". "I'm glad something is being done", said Susan Amidon, a Penn State senior from Bethlehem.
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Since Piazza's death, chapter alumnus Donald Abbey, a California real estate magnate, has sued the fraternity.
For this reason, we have announced the imposition of a number of aggressive measures and made clear recognition by the university [what] is at stake for those Greek-letter organizations that do not abide by the rules.
Penn State President Eric Barron called what happened to Timothy Piazza "inhumane treatment".
He added: "Our thoughts continue to lie with the Piazza family as the justice process moves forward".
No charges were filed against Tim Bream, 56, a Penn State assistant athletic director and head trainer for the football team who also lived in the Beta Theta Pi house.
"As in the Sandusky matter, it is a national moment for every university to take stock of what's going on in this culture of debauchery that occurs in the fraternities in American universities", he said.
Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey, was an engineering student who worked with Penn State's Dance Marathon (THON), according to his obituary.
"The former undergraduate members were well educated by the International Fraternity and Penn State on these policies; however, they are entitled to the presumption of innocence as they face these charged", the statement read.
Before the pledge night party where Piazza fell, one fraternity brother, Craig Heimer, " purchased a mass quantity of alcohol over an 8-day span", including spending a total of $1,179.30, including wine, beer, vodka and malt liquor.
Joseph Ems will be charged with recklessly endangering another person.