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Judge Dismisses Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Again In Beta Theta Pi Case

The fourth preliminary hearing in the Beta Theta Pi case stemming from the death of Tim Piazza produced similar results to the previous hearings — the most serious charges were dropped.

Judge Carmine Prestia bound over just hazing charges against six former brothers —  the fraternity’s president Brendan Young, Daniel Casey, Jonah Neuman, Michael Bonatucci, Nicholas Kubera and Joshua Kurczewski. Seven brothers in total were involved in this two-day hearing.

Young and Casey are charged with 30 counts of hazing, while the other four brothers received one count.

All three former brothers charged with involuntary manslaughter — Young, Casey, and Neuman — had those charges dismissed.

Six of the brothers who faced recklessly endangering another person (REAP) charges also had those dismissed.

These six brothers have other charges from the previous preliminary hearings bound over for trial, which is scheduled to begin in February 2019. 

Prestia also dismissed all charges against Braxton Becker, who faced tampering with evidence, obstruction, and hindering prosecution charges after he was accused of deleting the recovered video tapes.

“The systems were known to have problems, some cameras were not working and the LAN indication on the log indicates possible remote access to the devices,” Prestia wrote. “Defendant’s presence at the systems is insufficient given that no evidence was observed by the police officer that would indicate the system was deleting files at the time of observation and according to the Commonwealth’s expert witness the system was in ‘Clip and Save’ mode that by design would prevent data deletion.” 

The case still includes 21 defendants. Two former brothers — Ryan Burke and Joseph Ems — have entered guilty pleas to hazing, unlawful acts relative to liquor, and summary underage drinking charges.

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About the Author

Steve Connelly

Unfortunately, former editor Steve Connelly has graduated. Where is he now? He might be doing something related to that PR degree he got in 2019. Maybe he finally opened that sports bar named after one of his photos, the Blurry Zamboni. Or he might just be eating chicken tenders and couch surfing. Anything’s possible. If you really want to know, follow him on Twitter @slc2o.

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