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Centre County DA Files New Charges Against 12 New, 5 Prior Defendants In Beta Theta Pi Case

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller held a press conference Monday afternoon at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte to announce new charges against 12 new defendants and five previous defendants in the case surrounding Penn State student Tim Piazza’s death. All 17 individuals being charged are former brothers of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

“The Commonwealth is prepared today to announce new charges, and these charges are a direct result of new evidence in this case,” Parks Miller opened.

The new charges, which were filed Monday morning, result from new evidence on surveillance videos from the basement of the fraternity house. These videos were deleted — allegedly by former brother Braxton Becker, who’s now charged as such — but the FBI was able to recover all of the deleted footage.

Parks Miller says Becker deleted the video while police were in the fraternity house to retrieve the surveillance videos. She declined to provide many details on what exactly the video shows, but said Piazza consumed at least 18 drinks over a period of one hour and 22 minutes, but never once obtained any of those drinks for himself; rather, former brothers gave him all of the drinks he consumed.

“We believe…that people could see serious bodily injury and death from the culmination of this behavior,” Parks Miller said of the new involuntary manslaughter charges.

The charges against 12 new defendants in the case are as follows:

Joshua Kurczewski

  • involuntary manslaughter
  • aggravated assault
  • simple assault
  • reckless endangering another person
  • hazing (10 counts)
  • furnishing alcohol to minors (8 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (8 counts)

 

Ryan Burke

  • involuntary manslaughter
  • aggravated assault
  • simple assault
  • reckless endangering  another person
  • hazing (4 counts)
  • furnishing alcohol to minors (4 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (4 counts)

 

Johnathan Kanzler

  • involuntary manslaughter
  • aggravated assault
  • simple assault
  • reckless endangering another person
  • hazing (2 counts)
  • furnishing alcohol to minors (2 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (2 counts)
  • consumption of alcohol by a minor

 

Bohan Song

  • involuntary manslaughter
  • aggravated assault
  • simple assault
  • reckless endangering another person
  • hazing (3 counts)
  • furnishing alcohol to minors (3 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (3 counts)
  • consumption of alcohol by a minor

 

Aiden O’Brien

  • involuntary manslaughter
  • aggravated assault
  • simple assault
  • reckless endangering  another person
  • hazing
  • furnishing alcohol to minors
  • unlawful acts related to liquor
  • consumption of alcohol by a minor

 

Joseph Ems

  • hazing
  • furnishing alcohol to minors
  • unlawful acts related to liquor

 

Brian Gelb

  • hazing (6 counts
  • furnishing alcohol to minors (5 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (5 counts)

 

Patrick Jackson

  • hazing (2 counts)
  • furnishing alcohol to minors (2 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (2 counts)

 

Reggie Goeke

  • hazing
  • furnishing alcohol to minors
  • unlawful acts related to liquor

 

Mike Fernandez

  • hazing (2 counts)
  • furnishing alcohol to minors (2 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (2 counts)

 

Donald Prior

  • hazing (4 counts)
  • furnishing alcohol to minors (3 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (3 counts)

 

Braxton Becker

  • tampering with evidence
  • obstructing administration of law
  • hindering apprehension

 

Five previously charged Beta charges now face additional charges based upon their actions in the new basement video, as well:

Luke Visser

  • furnishing alcohol to minors (11 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (11 counts)

 

Gary DiBileo

  • furnishing alcohol to minors (5 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (5 counts)

 

Nick Kubera

  • furnishing alcohol to minors (2 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (2 counts)

 

Michael Bonatucci

  • furnishing alcohol to minors (2 counts)
  • unlawful acts related to liquor (2 counts)

 

Parker Yochim

  • furnishing alcohol to minors
  • unlawful acts related to liquor
  • consumption of alcohol by a minor

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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