A contempt hearing for Penn State head athletic trainer Tim Bream was suspended Wednesday morning as Bream took the stand to testify in the sixth day of Beta Theta Pi hearings at the Centre County Courthouse.
Eighteen Beta brothers, as well as the Alpha Upsilon chapter of the fraternity, are facing criminal charges in connection with the death of pledge Timothy Piazza, 19, in early February. Bream acted as house adviser and lived in the Beta house at the time of Piazza's death.
Prior to Bream taking the stand, attorneys argued the scope of questioning he would be asked, as District Judge Allen Sinclair ruled he could only be questioned on what he knew of the evening, not what his impressions of what the brothers may have thought.
Questioned by attorney Leonard Ambrose, attorney for Joseph Sala, Bream testified that his role of adviser entailed things like making sure the house remained in good repair, dealing with financial issues and advising in the history of the fraternity. He denied that brothers had to come to him for approval of events, saying the events and activities of the house were planned through the executive committee, saying his "role is guidance, not as an overlord."
He also denied approving the much-discussed alcohol obstacle course, stating, "No way would I give permission to have an alcohol gauntlet nor did I know about it."
When questioned about text messages between Ed Gilmartin and Lars Kenyon advising to delete group messages as "Tim's idea," Bream stated there had been a meeting at the house the afternoon of Feb. 3 where campus grief counselors had been invited. As a show of respect, he said, brothers were asked to not discuss Piazza or the accident on social media during the gathering.
Court broke for recess. It was unclear if additional attorneys would have an opportunity to further question Bream.