According to CNN, eight members of Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Penn State were charged last Friday for involuntary manslaughter, due to the death of a pledge on February 4th. The fraternity house had a surveillance camera that will be used as essential evidence in the trial.
Though the cause of death was a brain injury from several falls in addition to a blood alcohol content between .26 and .36 percent through the night, the victim, Timothy J. Piazza, eventually died due to the recklessness of the fraternity brothers, who did not call the police until 12 hours after Piazza’s first fall left him unconscious.
The camera footage shows Piazza’s unconscious body being carried up the stairs by some of the brothers at 10:47 p.m. Instead of calling the authorities, the brothers threw liquid on his face in attempts to wake him, but Piazza was unresponsive. An hour later, Piazza was moving and pleading for help, and while one brother suggested they call the authorities, they ultimately decided to leave it be. Throughout the night, the boys made attempts to wake Piazza again once he fell unconscious, including jumping on him, throwing him onto the couch, hitting him in the stomach and slapping him in the face.
At about 3 a.m, Piazza is seen on the footage lying on the floor in pain and trying to stand up, but falls head first down the stairs. Two hours later, more boys come to check on him, but leave him on the floor where he landed. Finally at 10 a.m, nearly twelve hours later, frat members found Piazza’s cold body with blood covering his face and decided it was finally time to call the authorities. By the time they called, it was too late for Piazza.
To make matters worse, the Beta Theta Pi brothers tried to cover up the fact that they hadn’t immediately gotten Piazza help. According to ABC News, in their text messages, one boy wrote “If need be, just tell them what I told you guys, found him behind [a bar] the next morning at around 10 a.m., and he was freezing-cold, but we decided to call 911 instantly, because the kid's health was paramount.”
Luckily, the fraternity's security camera caught the truth and hopefully justice will soon be served for Piazza.