Parks Miller appeals judge’s order on video experts in Beta Theta Pi case


The Centre County district attorney is appealing an order regarding the video evidence from the party where a Penn State student was injured and later died.

On Thursday, DA Stacy Parks Miller filed a notice of appeal with the Centre County prothonotary’s office.

According to the document, Parks Miller is appealing the May 30 order of President Judge Thomas King Kistler to the Superior Court.

Kistler ordered that both the State College police and the Alpha Upsilon chapter of Beta Theta Pi — the fraternity where authorities say Timothy Piazza fell during a pledge party in February and didn’t receive medical attention until about 12 hours later — should select forensic video analysts and determine a way to duplicate and preserve the surveillance footage.

Alpha Upsilon has been attempting to recover the surveillance video since March. Kistler previously sealed records in their pursuit of the video, which was evidence in grand jury investigations. The grand jury has since cited the video in recommending charges against 18 fraternity members and Alpha Upsilon.

The fraternity chapter, which was suspended and subsequently banned by Penn State as the investigations unfolded, has also requested Parks Miller be held in contempt for failure to comply with court orders to return the footage. Parks Miller says she has. Alpha Upsilon says what they have gotten was “modified” after police took possession.

Parks Miller cited another headline-grabbing Centre County case in her appeal, the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse prosecution. She said she was asking for an immediate review to keep the claim from being “irreparably lost.” A Superior Court ruling in that case regarding a protective order was immediately appealable, she argued.

Also on Thursday, Alpha Upsilon’s attorneys filed a disclosure of the forensic video analysts selected. The chapter picked Douglas Lacey and Bruce Koenig of BekTek LLC in Stafford, Virginia.

According to the background submitted with the filing, Lacey conducted forensic examinations of the Flight 93 cockpit voice recordings from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, performed the authenticity analysis of the Monica Lewinsky telephone recordings and did audio and visual enhancements and transcripts of the Duke lacrosse team case.

Koenig was a member of the ad hoc subcommittee on the missing portions of the Nixon White House tapes and worked with the National Research Council on the acoustic information from the Kennedy assassination, documents say.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce