Police say the video was deleted after fraternity members were made aware that an investigation into Piazza's death was underway, and police planned to obtain the footage.
BELLEFONTE-The Centre County District Attorney on Monday announced new criminal charges against 17 Penn State fraternity members after authorities reconstructed deleted footage from the Beta Theta Pi basement.
After State College Police further examined one of the DVR surveillance boxes, police say they uncovered evidence that the basement camera footage had been manually deleted as police were ready to seize the recording equipment. He retrieved none of the drinks himself, she said. The most serious charges against the Penn State students, including involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and simple assault were all dismissed.
The new charges include counts against 12 new defendants who were added to the case Monday, based on evidence from the basement, Stacy Parks Miller said. Before the fall, Piazza had been forced to consume at least 18 drinks in less than an hour and a half, according to prosecutors.
Deleted surveillance footage recovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Penn State fraternity pledge Tim Piazza was given at least 18 drinks in the span of 1 hour and 22 minutes, the Pittsburgh NBC affiliate reports.
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Deleted video surveillance was recovered. A preliminary hearing is expected to be held before then.
Reports from after Piazza's death showed other instances of fraternity members attempting to cover up the situation.
Police had already confiscated video footage from the house's main floor, which showed Piazza stumbling and repeatedly falling and hitting his head in an obvious drunken stupor, and thrashing about or rolling on his fraternity's floor, showing what would be the last signs of life.
In September, a judge threw out manslaughter and assault charges against eight Penn State fraternity brothers in the hazing death of 19-year-old sophomore Tim Piazza, Philly.com reported. But prosecutors refiled all 16 of those charges. The other charges, totaling almost 900, included aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, hazing, and providing alcohol to minors.
Authorities said the video captured games involving the rapid consumption of wine, beer and vodka in the fraternity house's basement during a party for newly accepted members.