Attorney General Josh Shapiro said they tried a new approach in the last preliminary hearing in an effort to make the involuntary manslaughter charges stick, but now they’ve appealed the judge’s decision to throw them out.
“We believe the elements of involuntary manslaughter were clearly met when applied to the actions of those five defendants, and I fundamentally believe that any clear minded review of the evidence and legal elements should arrive at that conclusion as well,” Shapiro said.
Shapiro said they only charged five brothers who participated and planned in the hazing ritual, knew of Timothy Piazza’s fall, and failed to get him help. He believes they proved those elements in court and that’s why they are appealing the judge’s decision.
Shapiro also said the judge should not make the final call on the charges, but they should be in front of a jury.
Ahead of Wednesday’s preliminary hearing for 12 brothers, the Attorney General’s Office has decided not to pursue any aggravated assault, simple assault or involuntary manslaughter charges. They will move forward with hazing, furnishing alcohol to minors and reckless endangerment charges.
“My office will continue to fight for justice in the hazing death of Tim Piazza. For Tim, for his family and for anyone who’s ever been touched by hazing. For anyone, who’s ever lost a loved one to this type of reckless conduct on college campuses,” Shapiro said.