Cop at frat brothers' hearing: Pledge 'looked like a corpse'

Authorities say Piazza, 19, died after a February 2 pledge event in which he tumbled head first down 15 basement steps following a night of heavy drinking.

By then, Piazza had fallen down the stairs again and lay there for two hours, until fraternity members found him almost dead, Scicchitano said.

The Beta Theta Pi fraternity and 18 members face criminal charges following the death of a 19-year-old pledge.

Ryan Foster, Edward Gilmartin III, Craig Heimer, Lars Kenyon, Nicholas Kubera, Ryan McCann, Jonah Neuman, Lucas Rockwell, Joseph Sala, Michael Schiavone, Luke Visser, Parker Yochim, Brendan Young and the Alpha Upsilon chapter of Beta Theta face charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to tampering with evidence following a lengthy investigation into Piazza's death and recommendations by the Centre County grand jury. Magisterial District Judge Allen Sinclair granted a defense motion to continue the hearing to a later date to allow for additional cross-examination and testimony before ruling whether the case will proceed to trial. "He is dead weight", Scicchitano said as the footage played and showed Piazza's first fall.

By 11:22 p.m., he said, the 19-year-old's blood-alcohol content was between.28 percent and.36 percent, and the fraternity brothers struggled to hold him up.

Hours after the fall, Piazza "looked like a corpse" and had "lost all color", a detective testified Monday.

The surveillance videos, which allegedly show Piazza's agonizing final hours at the frat house, are a key part of the prosecution's case.

The defendants face various charges, with some accused of involuntary manslaughter and felony aggravated assault. Some of them allegedly physically assaulted Piazza in order to get him to regain consciousness, according to prosecutors.

Piazza was carried upstairs after the fall, appearing unconscious.

Shortly before 4 a.m., after a fraternity member saw Piazza on the floor and put a blanket over him, Piazza was alone on the floor of the fraternity house. The footage shows him repeatedly falling and striking his head. When the video started, he and his wife Evelyn left the courtroom.

He reportedly drank a large amount of alcohol during a hazing ritual that night.

Members of the fraternity went looking for him the next morning and found him in the basement, unconscious with labored breathing.

Piazza died later at a hospital.

Authorities have said members of the fraternity resisted summoning help until well into the next morning. But, prosecutors say, fraternity brothers decided not to call for help. Doctors say he suffered severe head and abdominal injuries.

Penn State has permanently banned the fraternity after finding a persistent pattern of excessive drinking and hazing.

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