First guilty plea entered in Penn State fraternity death

Posted: Updated:
BELLEFONTE, Pa. -

A former Penn State University Beta Theta Pi fraternity brother entered the first guilty plea in the death of a pledge who was fatally injured after a night of heavy drinking and hazing.

The Centre Daily Times reports 21-year-old Ryan Burke pleaded guilty Wednesday to all nine remaining charges he faced, including four misdemeanor counts of hazing.

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Twenty-five other defendants face charges in the death of Timothy Piazza. The 19-year-old Hunterdon County resident drank a dangerous amount of alcohol and suffered fatal injuries in a series of falls during a party last year. Prosecutors say fraternity members did little or nothing to help him.

Burke was accused of giving Piazza a bottle of vodka at the party. He'll be sentenced July 31.

Defense attorney Philip Masorti says Burke is "anxious to make amends."

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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