Piazza family to Penn State students facing charges in son's death: "Tell the truth"

Piazza parents react to judge decision

A judge dropped involuntary manslaughter charges tied to the hazing-related death of student Timothy Piazza at a Penn State fraternity. The 19-year-old died last year from head injuries after a night of heavy drinking at a pledge event at Beta Theta Pi.

This was the second time a judge decided to throw out the involuntary manslaughter charges, so the Piazza family wasn't shocked. We visited parents Jim and Evelyn Piazza Wednesday night hours after the judge dismissed the most severe charges in their son's case.

"I guess the judge just didn't see it that way. Didn't want to change his mind," Evelyn told CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers.

Former Beta Theta Pi fraternity member Daniel Casey is among those to have the charge dropped. In a statement to CBS News, Casey's attorney called the involuntary manslaughter filings a "mistake."

"Do you think… it was an over reach to go for some of these charges?" Duthiers asked.

"I don't," Evelyn said. "No."

"I don't either," Jim said.

Casey and his former fraternity brother, Brendan Young, are still charged with "conspiracy to commit hazing." Twenty-four others face charges, all of which include jail time.

"This is no longer just a hazing case. This is a conspiracy to commit hazing case," Piazza family attorney Tom Kline said. "Every individual who was charged faces multiple counts, each count which could carry with it one year in jail."

Prosecutors say fraternity brothers gave Piazza 18 drinks in about 82 minutes during a pledge event at Beta Theta Pi house in February of 2017. Piazza fell and repeatedly hit his head. Surveillance footage revealed Piazza's fraternity brothers waited nearly 12 hours to get help.

"Do you think that these boys should go to jail?" Duthiers asked.

"I absolutely do," Jim responded.

To the other young men facing charges, Evelyn had a message: "Tell the truth."

"And why'd you let him die? I really want that answer," Jim added.

Casey's attorney would not comment on the conspiracy to commit hazing charge. We also reached out to Brendan Young's attorney about that same hazing charge and did not hear back. Hearings will resume in Pennsylvania in May.