Bellefonte, Centre County, Pa - Members of Beta Theta Pi were in court today for their preliminary hearing in connection to the death of Timothy Piazza. The commonwealth presented a chilling video highlighting a series of events leading up to his passing.
12 working cameras were in the fraternity house. Footage shows brothers leading pledges through a drinking obstacle course. As time goes by you can see Piazza staggering and later unconscious in a room.
A detective with State College Police offers his testimony, breaking down the footage and background from his investigation. He pointed out clips where piazza appears unconscious and members of the fraternity are sitting on him, tossing beverages at his body and, at one point, leaving him alone on the floor.
18 of the brothers are facing charges including aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and hazing. The parents of Piazza were in court but bolted from the room before the video presentation. Their lawyers says it's a part of the process no parent wants to be a part of.
"They were told in advance. It is graphic and brutal, and horrible and they made a personal decision that they were not going to see it. They want to remember their son as the loving, kind, gentle wise, brilliant child who he was. Not the young man that was flailing around as we saw it on the video," says Tom Kline, the Piazza family attorney.
While the parents didn't stick around for review of the footage they did say for part of the detectives testimony. The gruesome details of Piazzas injuries and timeline of events that evening in February seem to strike emotion for both sides of the case.