Cop At Frat Brothers' Hearing: Pledge 'Looked Like A Corpse'

Prosecutors say the victim was forced to drink a lethal amount of alcohol during a hazing ritual.

By Gina Tron

At the hearing for 18 Penn State fraternity brothers accused in the death of a pledge on Monday, a detective said that the teen looked like a corpse in surveillance video from the frat house.

"He looked dead, he looked like a corpse," said State College Police Detective David Scicchitano, describing 19-year-old Tim Piazza's appearance in video footage, according to the Associated Press.  

The preliminary hearing, held at a courthouse near Penn State, will determine if there's enough evidence for a trial.

Video shot inside the Beta Theta Pi house was shown from February, when Piazza was ordered to drink what prosecutors are calling a life-threatening amount of alcohol during a hazing ritual. According to, he fell down a flight of stairs multiple times. He lay drunk and unconscious, and the footage showed that the fraternity brothers did little to help him. Instead, they stepped over his body. They also slapped, hit, and doused him with water. Meanwhile, Piazza was dying, suffering from head injuries and internal bleeding.

Nobody called 911 until about 12 hours after Piazza’s first fall. The pledge died two days later from a traumatic brain injury.

Piazza's father, Jim, rocked back and forth quietly in the courtroom according to the AP. When the video was played, he and his wife Evelyn left the room.

"He is unconscious, his eyes are closed, he is limp. He is dead weight," Scicchitano said as the footage played and showed Piazza’s first fall.

The frat brothers face charges that range from involuntary manslaughter to felony aggravated assault in connection with Piazza’s death. Penn State has permanently banned the fraternity, citing excess drinking, drug use and hazing.

[NBC News]

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