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Probe into deadly fall at Penn State frat to be released

Written by The Associated Press | May 5, 2017 2:39 AM
timothy_piazza_penn_state.jpg

This Oct. 31, 2014, photo provided by Patrick Carns shows Timothy Piazza, center, with his parents Evelyn Piazza, left, and James Piazza, right, during Hunterdon Central Regional High School football's "Senior Night" at the high school's stadium in Flemington, N.J. (Patrick Carns via AP)

(Bellefonte) -- Prosecutors in Centre County plan to announce this morning the results of a grand jury investigation into the death of a Penn State student who fell down steps during an alcohol-fueled pledge ceremony.

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller plans to disclose details about events surrounding the Feb. 4 death of pledge Timothy Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Her office said in a court filing last week that charges were likely against several people for "conduct surrounding the death of another person."

Police have said hazing and excessive drinking at the Beta Theta Pi chapter house on Feb. 2 may have contributed to the 19-year-old sophomore engineering student's death.

Penn State permanently banned Beta Theta Pi on March 30, accusing it of a "persistent pattern" of excessive drinking, drug use and hazing.

Help for Piazza apparently wasn't summoned until about 12 hours after he was injured during events surrounding a pledge acceptance ceremony.

Police have said Piazza was found unconscious on a couch on the main floor when they were called to help. He later died at a hospital.

Fraternity members turned over security camera footage to police and have gone to court to recover it.

Since Piazza's death, chapter alumnus Donald Abbey, a California real estate magnate, has sued the fraternity.

He wants more than $10 million he says he loaned the chapter to fix up the house and shore up its finances.

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