18 Penn State Fraternity members return to Center County Court today for a preliminary hearing. Those facing charges include Joseph Sala of Erie, and Peter Yochim, of Waterford.
The case centers on the death of 19 year old, Tim Piazza, who died during a hazing incident at the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity in February. The key evidence against the young men is surveillance video from nearly every room in the house.
One of the other men charged in the case, Joey Ames, has a defense Attorney who believes none of the men should be charged. “I don’t see how anybody, Joey Ames in particular, could be charged with the knowledge that this was anything more than a frat. brother who had, had too much to drink,” says Attorney William Brennan.
The Piazza Family Attorney, Tom Kline, says there must be justice for the deceased young man. “I observed the defendant men kidding, backslapping, joking and acting as though they were at a fraternity reunion,” says Kline.
Mother, Evelyn Piazza, says, “I don’t know where their conscience was, where the voice in the back of the head was saying, ‘he’s hurt, I got to do the right thing'”.
The charges range from Involuntary Manslaughter to Reckless Endangerment to Tampering with Evidence.