8 Members Of Penn State Frat Appear In Court In Pledge’s Death

By David Spunt and Ian Bush

BELLFONTE, Pa. (CBS)--Eight former members of Beta Theta Pi on Penn State’s Campus faced a judge for arraignment Tuesday. They are charged in the death of Timothy Piazza, who died in February after falling down the stairs in the Beta house. Authorities say no one called 911 for 12 hours.

This was the second round of court appearances. Last Friday, a group of eight facing charges of involuntary manslaughter appeared before a Centre County judge.

“As far as the charges, we’re obviously very confident in them and also remember a grand jury is the one that voted on them and we agree with the charges,” Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said Tuesday.

18 Members Of Now-Shuttered Penn State Frat Charged In Fatal Fall

Miller appeared last week with the Piazza family when she announced the charges.

“This didn’t have to happen. This is the result of a feeling of entitlement. Flagrant disobedience of the law and disregard for moral values,” Timothy’s father Jim Piazza said.

Two of the eight who appeared Tuesday are from the Philadelphia region, including Michael Schiavone, of Yardley, who’s charged with recklessly endangering another person and hazing.

Joseph Ems, charged with recklessly endangering another person, is from Philadelphia.

“It’s a very troubling and tragic and sad case. We take it very seriously,” said Ems’ attorney Bill Brennan.

According to documents, surveillance video shows four frat brothers carrying Piazza’s unresponsive body up the stairs, before putting him on a couch. It allegedly shows Ems slapping Piazza, trying to wake him up.

“There’s allegations the commonwealth will have to back up but I think it would be foolish and premature for me to comment,” Brennan said.

Bail was set Tuesday at $50,000 unsecured and the men have to surrender their passports

Comments

One Comment

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Philly

Getaway Guide To Iconic Carousels
Getaway Summer Slopes
Videos

Watch & Listen LIVE