Hazing, booze topics in Penn State frat pledge death hearing

Posted: Updated:
Lebanon Township resident Timothy Piazza died Feb. 4 after falling down a flight of stairs at a Penn State University fraternity house a few days earlier. Lebanon Township resident Timothy Piazza died Feb. 4 after falling down a flight of stairs at a Penn State University fraternity house a few days earlier.

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) - A judge presiding over a preliminary hearing for defendants accused in the death of a Penn State fraternity pledge will be getting more evidence before he'll decide if there's sufficient grounds to send the case to county court for trial.

The second day of a preliminary hearing Monday included questions from a defense attorney about whether 19-year-old pledge Tim Piazza had been forced into drinking a dangerous amount of alcohol the night of a Beta Theta Pi party in February.

The judge also is considering text messages that show fraternity members concerned about having engaged in hazing the night Piazza suffered severe head and abdominal injuries.

Help wasn't summoned until the next morning, and Piazza later died at a hospital.

The hearing is expected to continue for a third day.

This story has been corrected to show two fraternity members previously waived their preliminary hearing.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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