Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

District Attorney: Beta Theta Pi Member Deleted Basement Surveillance Following Piazza's Death

District Attorney: Beta Theta Pi Member Deleted Basement Surveillance Following Piazza's Death

A bicyclist rides past Pennsylvania State University's shuttered Beta Theta Pi fraternity house Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in State College, Pa. Centre County, Pa., District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller announced Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, that more charges have been filed against fraternity brothers after investigators recovered deleted surveillance video footage recorded before the February 4, 2017, death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, N.J., after a night of heavy drinking.

Also as a result of the video, five fraternity members already charged in the case face additional charges, said Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller on Monday.

The officers didn't know at the time that the series of buttons Becker was pushing deleted the video, Parks Miller said, but the officers had relied on Becker to provide access to the system.

Becker's attorney could not be reached for comment Monday.

New evidence revealed this week brought new charges in the hazing death of Penn State University student Timothy Piazza.

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The judge let stand lesser charges against them and six others but dismissed other charges altogether against four of the members of the fraternity. Prosecutors argue Piazza was forced to drink massive amounts of alcohol. During the party, the brothers then walked around the room with liquor bottles and wine bags, constantly pouring booze into pledges' cups, she said.

The video was reportedly erased after the fraternity brothers found out that an investigation into Piazza's death was underway and police planned to obtain the footage. But until recently, that did not include the basement, where Piazza was found the next morning. It was an annual tradition in the beta Theta Pi house, according to previous testimony.

The case against Beta has "fallen off the rails" in terms of scheduling, Parks Miller said, referring to the initial hearing against the fraternity brothers that stretched for several months over the summer.

The attorneys previously said their clients could not be held liable for what Piazza "chose" to drink in the basement.

"At the first preliminary hearing, the defense made a lot of suggestions and innuendoes about what if - what if he was serving himself alcohol in the basement?" "Guess what guys. Now we know.It's time to man-up fellas and be accountable for your actions".

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According to Parks Miller, the basement video clearly shows a continuation of the hazing activity previously captured upstairs during the gauntlet.

The most serious of these charges are involuntary manslaughter, but former brother Braxton Becker was also charged with tampering with evidence and obstructing administration of law.

Yet the prosecutors' case has not progressed evenly since May, as the accused have said Parks Miller is overreaching with her allegations.

Security video of the incident recorded Piazza appearing intoxicated and being led to a couch after 11 p.m. Jonathan Kanzler Involuntary Manslaughter Aggravated Assault Simple Assault Reckless Endangering Another Person Hazing Furnishing Alcohol to Minors Unlawful Acts Relative to Liquor Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor (1 count) 4.

Two defendants who previously escaped charges, but now are back in criminal court are Joseph Ems and Becker.

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