A new preliminary hearing for the Penn State fraternity members charged in connection with hazing death of pledge Timothy Piazza in February 2017 has been scheduled.
The six-day hearing scheduled Friday for the 11 fraternity members is set for March 22.
Piazza, 19, died after suffering injuries sustained in a reported fall during a bid acceptance night at the now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Recovered video surveillance footage showed he had consumed 18 alcoholic drinks in one hour and 22 minutes.
This hearing comes six months after District Judge Allen Sinclair dismissed all felony charges, including involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault, in the case after a marathon preliminary hearing last summer at the Centre County Courthouse.
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Then-District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller refiled all felony counts in the case a month later — as well as motions to have Sinclair replaced in the next trial.
Centre County President Judge Pamela Ruest ruled in January that Sinclair would continue to preside during the second hearing, saying he heard extensive testimony over several days and made a “well-reasoned decision.”
Parks Miller was voted out of office in November, after which her successor, Bernie Cantorna, turned the case over to the state attorney general’s office, citing unspecified conflicts of interest.
It is now up to the attorney general’s office to decide what to do with the refiled charges — forge ahead, alter or drop the charges, or negotiate pleas. The AG’s office has not yet stated a public position on the case.
“We’re not ready as yet to give any kind of public update on this case,” Joe Grace, a spokesman for the attorney general, told The Associated Press. “The review is still ongoing.”