New details emerge in horrific Penn State fraternity death

New details emerge in horrific Penn State fraternity death (ABC News)
Eighteen Pennsylvania State University students and a former fraternity at the school are facing charges in connection with the death of Beta Theta Pi pledge Timothy Piazza, who died after falling down stairs at the frat house during a pledge ceremony, a prosecutor said this morning, as she released new details in how the deadly night unfolded.
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller announced the results of the grand jury investigation this morning, three months after the Feb. 4 death of Piazza, a 19-year-old Penn State sophomore.
Eighteen Penn State students are facing charges: eight for involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and hazing, among other charges; four for reckless endangerment and hazing, among other charges; and six for evidence tampering. The fraternity itself is facing charges including involuntary manslaughter and hazing.
On the morning of Feb. 3, police were called to the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house, where Piazza was found unconscious, about 12 hours after he fell down the stairs. Piazza was hospitalized and pronounced dead in the early hours of Feb. 4, according to the Centre County, Pennsylvania, grand jury investigation report released today.
Here is how the night of Feb. 2 and early morning hours of Feb. 3 unfolded at Beta Theta Pi, according to the report, which cited evidence including video from surveillance cameras, testimony and phone records.
On the night of Feb. 2, Piazza engaged in drinking as a part of a pledge ritual and his blood alcohol content reached between .28 and .36.
His fall was not captured on surveillance cameras but someone heard it, and when one man went to the top of the basement stairs, he saw Piazza lying face-down at the bottom of the steps. In a group message to other fraternity brothers at 11:53 p.m. that night, that man wrote, "Tim Piazza might actually be a problem. He fell 15 feet down a flight of stairs, hair-first, going to need help."
Surveillance video at 10:47 p.m. showed Piazza being carried upstairs by four fraternity brothers; in the video, his body appeared limp, his eyes were closed, he appeared unconscious and a bruise was visible on his side. Piazza was placed on a couch and liquid was dumped on his face twice, but he didn't respond either time.
About a half an hour after the fall, at 11:14 p.m., a newly initiated member saw Piazza lying on the couch, looking "horrible," he later told the grand jury. He saw Piazza "thrashing and making weird movements on the couch" and screamed at the fraternity brothers for help, stressing that Piazza needed to go to the hospital because he could have a concussion. One brother shoved the newly initiated member into a wall and said they had it under control.
At 11:25 p.m., the pledge master slapped Piazza three times in the face. At 11:37 p.m., one fraternity brother tackled another brother into the couch, physically landing on top of Piazza.
By 1 a.m., some brothers saw Piazza vomit and twitch on the couch. Three brothers filled a backpack with books and placed it on Piazza to try to keep him from rolling to his back if he passed out. At 1:48 a.m., Piazza rolled off the couch and to the floor, and three brothers picked him up and "slammed him onto the couch." One brother hit Piazza hard once in the abdomen.
By 2:38 a.m., Piazza rolled to the floor and at 3:16 p.m. his legs were moving. At 3:22 p.m., Piazza tried to stand and the backpack came off and he fell back, hitting his head on the hardwood floor. A fraternity brother attempted to shake him for a moment and then left the room.
At 3:46 a.m., Piazza was curled up on the floor in the fetal position with his knees toward his chest. At 3:49 a.m., Piazza positioned himself on his knees, bent over with his elbows on the floor and his head in his hands. At 3:54 a.m., he tried to stand but fell face-down onto the floor. At 4:59 a.m., he stood and then fell head-first into an iron railing, landing on a stone floor.
"He gets up again and attempts to go to the front door but before he reaches it he falls head-first into the door," the grand jury report says. He later rolled to his side, clutching his abdomen.
At 5:15 a.m., one brother came into the room, stepped over the injured pledge, looked at him and then left the room. At 5:26 a.m., another brother saw Piazza on the floor and walked him to another room but Piazza fell down three steps, and the brother stepped over him on the floor and left him there.
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