Police Say Security Footage Deleted In Penn State Fraternity Pledge Death

Penn State fraternity member charged with student's death deleted video, detective says

An adviser to a Penn State fraternity whose members are charged in a pledge's death will have to explain why he has not responded to efforts to get him to testify, a judge said Friday. Both men must appear at the next hearing in the case, which is scheduled to begin on August 30. A retired state trooper says he hasn't been able to serve Bream with a subpoena, despite contacting university lawyers and authorities at the building where Bream works.

Piazza, 19, a sophomore from Lebanon, NJ, fell several times during a night of drinking on February 2 that followed his participation in a pledge acceptance ceremony.

Defense attorney Leonard Ambrose, who represents Joseph Sala, argued that Bream could testify about the event "as well as his permission that these activities could occur". Two of the defendants waived their rights to a hearing. The defendants have denied all charges. During a night of excessive drinking, he fell head first down basement steps at around 11 p.m., but first responders were not called until nearly 12 hours later, police said.

Other security camera footage that was shown in an earlier court session showed fraternity members holding Piazza down and pouring liquids on him while he appeared to be unconscious. Detectives said those members failed to give him any meaningful assistance. It's unclear what that footage would have shown.

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The fraternity itself also faces criminal charges, including involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault.

He said Friday that investigators only learned about the deleted footage a week and a half ago.

Centre County DA Stacy Parks Miller said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is working to recover the footage and she expects a forensic report.

"I would like to go after them if I knew where to look", Scicchitano said.

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The preliminary hearing, now in its fourth day, will determine if there is sufficient evidence to send the case to county court for trial.

Eight of the 18 frat brothers face the most serious charges, some of which can carry as much as 10 to 20 years in prison. The Beta Theta Pi fraternity, which has since been barred from Penn State, is facing charges including involuntary manslaughter and hazing.

Ezra Kaplan reported from Bellefonte, Pa., and Erik Ortiz reported from NY. The international's leaders said they have "clearly and consistently expressed its position that it does not tolerate hazing or alcohol abuse".

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