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AG Vows To Pursue Charges In Fraternity Pledge Death In Hazing Stunt

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- After an independent review of the case, Pennsylvania's attorney general wants involuntary manslaughter charges reinstated against five former Penn State fraternity members in the hazing death of Timothy Piazza.

More than two dozen fraternity brothers have been targeted for charges related to what authorities have described as a hazing stunt gone wrong last year.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the decision Tuesday, one day before the preliminary hearing for 12 members of Beta Theta Pi over the February 2017 death of 19-year-old Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey.

"We are committed to holding every responsible individual accountable for their actions in this tragedy," Shapiro said, noting he wants 26 former fraternity members to face charges in the case.

The set of 12 defendants due in court this week is separate from 14 members of the same fraternity whose charges were previously sent to county court.

Timothy Piazza
Timothy Piazza (credit: Evelyn Weinert Piazza)

Authorities said Piazza was given at least 18 drinks inside a 90-minute period, and his blood alcohol was estimated at several times the legal driving limit.

He tumbled down a flight of stairs and fell several other times, hurting his head, authorities said.

Authorities said he was found unconscious in the basement the next day, but it was another 40 minutes before an ambulance was called.

Piazza had a fractured skull, shattered spleen and other injuries. He died on February 4 from traumatic brain injury.

Despite his apparent distress for 12 hours, the grand jury report said, the fraternity brothers did little to help him.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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