Much pared down, Penn St. frat death case plods ahead

A string of guilty pleas has left just five defendants still fighting charges in the hazing-related death of a pledge at a Penn State fraternity two years ago.

The case centers on what occurred at the Beta Theta Pi house in February 2017, when 19-year-old Tim Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey, consumed a large amount of alcohol on pledge bid acceptance night and was fatally injured in a series of falls.

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The former district attorney had pursued involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges against some of the students. But judges tossed some of those allegations and prosecutors withdrew others.

At one point 28 faced charges. Fourteen of the former frat brothers have pleaded guilty to comparatively minor charges, mostly alcohol- or hazing-related.