BELLEFONTE, Pa. (CBS/AP) — A judge is dismissing the most serious charges filed in a pledge’s fatal injuries suffered inside a Penn State fraternity house.
District Judge Carmine Prestia on Friday dismissed charges including involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment, saying the evidence is insufficient. But Prestia says six of the seven remaining defendants can be tried on less serious misdemeanor hazing charges.
Tampering, hindering apprehension and obstruction charges were dismissed against the seventh defendant. Two others previously pleaded guilty.
The seven Beta Theta Pi fraternity members were going through another hearing because a county judge reinstated charges previously dismissed by a district judge.
The charges stem from the 2017 death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza of New Jersey.
Previously, Penn State’s President Eric Barron addressed the community following Piazza’s death in a letter.
““The recent tragic death of student Timothy Piazza has shaken and impacted all of us in the Penn State community. Our hearts go out to the Piazza family and friends during this tremendously difficult time,” Barron wrote.
“We are reaching out to you today as you may observe Penn State being more vocal on this serious matter. Due to the complexity of this issue, the University believes it is important to offer perspective and background to those reporting,” Barron added.
Piazza died of severe head and abdominal injuries. Authorities say he consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol.
Twenty-one members of the now-closed fraternity are facing various charges.
Two former members have pleaded guilty to hazing and alcohol-related charges. One was sentenced to house arrest in July as the other awaits sentencing.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)