FILE – In this April 4, 2017, file photo, Penn State's former Beta Theta Pi fraternity house on Burrowes Road sits empty after being shut down in State College, Pa. A preliminary hearing is set to resume Monday, July 10, for Beta Theta Pi fraternity members who are facing charges in connection with the February death of a pledge after a night of drinking. (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP, File)

Hazing, booze topics in Penn State frat pledge death hearing

July 10, 2017 - 6:02 pm

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — A judge presiding over a preliminary hearing for defendants accused in the death of a Penn State fraternity pledge will be getting more evidence before he'll decide if there's sufficient grounds to send the case to county court for trial.

The second day of a preliminary hearing Monday included questions from a defense attorney about whether 19-year-old pledge Tim Piazza had been forced into drinking a dangerous amount of alcohol the night of a Beta Theta Pi party in February.

The judge also is considering text messages that show fraternity members concerned about having engaged in hazing the night Piazza suffered severe head and abdominal injuries.

Help wasn't summoned until the next morning, and Piazza later died at a hospital.

The hearing is expected to continue for a third day.


This story has been corrected to show two fraternity members previously waived their preliminary hearing.

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