BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) – Attorneys for Penn State fraternity members charged within the demise of a pledge after an evening of consuming and hazing argued Thursday that their shoppers’ roles have been minimal or didn’t quantity to felony conduct.
A preliminary listening to for sixteen members of Beta Theta Pi continued for a seventh day, with legal professionals arguing to District Decide Allen Sinclair that they had little cause to anticipate that 19-yr-previous Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey, would eat harmful quantities of alcohol and fall a number of occasions.
“Sure, there’s extreme consuming on school campuses,” argued lawyer Theodore Simon, who represents Luke Visser. “That doesn’t rework it into legal conduct.”
Centre County District Lawyer Stacy Parks Miller stated most of the protection arguments are extra appropriate for a jury to think about, and she or he disputed a suggestion that the fraternity members would not have recognized of the hazard as a result of nobody had died beforehand in the course of the fraternity chapter’s lengthy historical past.
“So far as this concept, ‘Nicely, no one died earlier than,’ do they actually assume they get a free dying earlier than somebody is held accountable?” Parks Miller stated to Sinclair.
The decide stated he might determine by the weekend whether or not to ahead costs to county courtroom for trial. The fraternity can also be a defendant, and two others waived the listening to.
Protection lawyer Michael Engle argued that “the voluntariness of the consuming” is a vital issue when contemplating Piazza’s destiny.
“What we now have is proof from this document that this tragic dying was merely not foreseeable right here,” stated Engle, who represents defendant Gary DiBileo.
He additionally challenged Parks Miller’s strategy to charging the lads as accomplices, arguing that might require a principal actor and that was not established.
“You’ve got heard again and again, all of those people are accomplices, however as a matter of regulation, these people cannot be accomplices with each other,” he informed the decide.
Parks Miller repeatedly stated the actions of the fraternity brothers, who directed pledges to run by means of a collection of consuming stations after which didn’t get assist for Piazza till the subsequent morning, confirmed the type of recklessness required to help a number of the allegations.
Surveillance video from the fraternity home…