Some Charges Dropped in PSU Fraternity Death Case

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Attorney General has withdrawn the most serious charges against a group of former Penn State fraternity members charged in the hazing death of pledge Timothy Piazza last year.

The state attorney general's office has decided not to pursue any of the felony aggravated assault charges against Gary DiBileo II of Scranton and other members of the now-closed Penn State fraternity Beta Theta Pi.

These are charges that were already dismissed in a court last year.

Michael Engle is the lawyer for DiBileo. He tells Newswatch 16 that the attorney general still plans to pursue involuntary manslaughter charges against five of the men, including DiBileo.

While involuntary manslaughter is a misdemeanor, DiBileo's lawyer feels it's still too severe a charge for his client.

"Given that the evidence clearly shows [Gary] was one of a few people who advocated for Piazza to receive medical help."

This is the second time a prosecutor has reinstated the involuntary manslaughter charges.

The former Centre County district attorney refiled last year before a new DA took office and referred the case to the state attorney general.

In a statement, the attorney general's office said: "We will seek justice for the Piazza family. My office is committed to holding every responsible individual accountable for their actions, consistent with the law and the evidence in this case."

An attorney for the Piazza family also issued a statement Thursday which said: "The parents of Timothy Piazza are most pleased to see the reinstatement now by a second prosecutor of involuntary manslaughter charges. With hundreds of charges against 26 individuals facing serious jail time, the Piazzas remain hopeful that justice will be accomplished and support the Pennsylvania Attorney General in this nationally important prosecution."

The former Penn State fraternity members are expected back in the Centre County court next week.