Penn State fraternity hazing death trial scheduled for February

Posted: Updated:
BELLEFONTE, Pa. -

Members of a Penn State University fraternity charged in connection with the death of a pledge from New Jersey are scheduled to go to trial early next year.

Centre County Judge Jonathan Grine set aside 20 days for the trial involving 21 members of the now-closed Beta Theta Pi fraternity, starting Feb. 6.

Defendants are accused of hazing, reckless endangerment and other offenses after the death of 19-year-old Lebanon Township resident Tim Piazza.

RELATED: Timeline of pledge's harrowing night at Penn State frat

Officials say that Piazza drank heavily during a night of hazing and fell down a flight of stairs. Piazza suffered a fractured skull, a shattered spleen and other injuries. Authorities say he had consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol.

Prosecutors say that fraternity members did not call for help for Piazza until several hours after he was injured.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21 for 10 defendants, and Grine says they must appear in court in person.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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