First former fraternity brother pleads guilty

Local News

A former Beta Theta Pi Brother pled guilty Wendesday to multiple counts of hazing and furnishing alcohol to minors among other charges.

Ryan Burke is the first former fraternity brother to plead guilty to crimes associated with pledge Timothy Piazza’s death, which happened over a year ago. His plea was open, meaning he accepted guilt on all 9 counts.

Those charges include four counts of hazing, a misdemeanor, to four different pledges including Piazza, along with furnishing alcohol to to minors, and a summary offense of underage drinking as he was 20-years old on the night of Piazza’s death.

That night police and court records show Burke on surveillance video giving Piazza and three other pledges a handle of vodka to chug for the evening.

Burke’s attorney Phillip Masorti state today in court, “The video speaks for itself and my client is comfortable accepting responsibility.”

Prosecutor Brian Zurallo from the Attorney Generals office sat quietly for most of the proceedings and seemed accepting of Burke’s admission of guilt.

“He was accepting everything today because he knows that this young man will be working with him in the future, and it will make his job a little bit easier to have someone testifying that was there.” WTAJ legal analyst Tony DeBeouf said.

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