New charges in hazing death

Jim Piazza Speaks Out As New Charges Filed in Beta Theta Pi Case

At a lengthy preliminary hearing over the initial charges in the case last summer, defense attorneys argued that Piazza's death was a tragic accident.

"Our hearts continue to break for the anguish being experienced by the Piazza family, as this shocking and sad story continues to unfold".

Footage retrieved from the frat's extensive system of security cameras captured numerous events that day.

Piazza's parents, Jim and Evelyn, had spoken out vigorously before the hearing about the manner in which their son died, saying the fraternity brothers had treated their son like "roadkill". That was the result of the recovery of surveillance video from the basement of the fraternity house - footage police said they discovered was deleted after fraternity members initially told them the cameras there weren't working. The deleted video has since been restored by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

The restored video shows a hazing ritual involving beer in the basement and brothers giving pledges wine, beer and vodka, according to the district attorney's office. Tim Piazza does not obtain his own alcohol at any point.

The newly recovered basement video could be a game-changer in that it shows Piazza being served at least 18 drinks within one hour and 22 minutes from fraternity brothers, according to Parks Miller. Piazza subsequently stumbled toward the basement steps, then fell down them. When police found him unconscious the next morning, they took him to a hospital. They carried him back upstairs, but it was another 40 minutes before an ambulance was summoned.

Piazza, 19, died in February from injuries he suffered inside the house from several falls amid an alcohol-fueled party, prosecutors said.

Contributing: The Associated Press. The 12th person, who is accused of deleting the video, was charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing administration of law and hindering apprehension.

A total of 17 fraternity members are now facing various charges, including involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, hazing and furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor under the age of 21.

A lawyer for Joseph Ems, who had previously faced a reckless-endangerment charge that was dismissed by the district judge, said he plans to seek dismissal of the three fresh charges against his client: hazing, furnishing alcohol to a minor and an alcohol violation.

Joshua Kurczewski, who also was charged with ten counts of hazing, eight counts of furnishing alcohol to minors and eight unlawful acts relative to liquor. Aiden O'Brien Involuntary Manslaughter, 18 Pa.C.S. 2504 (1 count) Aggravated Assault, 18 Pa.C.S. 2702 (a)(1) (1 count) Simple Assault, 18 Pa.C.S. 2701 (a)(1) (1 count) Reckless Endangering Another Person, 18 Pa.C.S. 2705 (1 count) Hazing, 23 P.S. 5353 (1 count) Furnishing Alcohol to Minors, 18 Pa.C.S. 6310.1 (1 count) Unlawful Acts Relative to Liquor, 47 P.S. 4-493 (1 count) Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor, 18 Pa.C.S. 6308 (1 count) 6.

Jonathan Kanzler, who also was charged with consumption of alcohol by a minor, and two counts each of hazing, furnishing and unlawful acts.

Luke Visser faces 11 new counts of furnishing alcohol to minors and 11 counts of unlawful acts.

Related News: