The Latest: Restoring charges considered in frat death case
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on a hearing in the Penn State fraternity pledge death criminal case (all times local):
A Pennsylvania judge is considering whether to allow prosecutors to pursue dismissed aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter charges over the February death of a Penn State fraternity pledge.
Centre County Judge Pamela Ruest didn’t indicate Thursday when she’ll decide.
Ruest also will determine how she’ll respond to sharp criticisms of her contained in a press release issued Thursday by District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller while the hearing was going on.
Parks Miller is out of town and claims Ruest isn’t handling the case fairly and wouldn’t let her participate in the hearing by phone.
Twenty-six former members of Beta Theta Pi face charges related to the February death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey.
A prosecutor is sharply criticizing the judge handling the case of former Penn State fraternity members facing charges in a pledge’s death.
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller released a statement Thursday saying Common Pleas Court Judge Pamela Ruest has “failed miserably” at being fair to both sides.
Parks Miller isn’t in court for a hearing Thursday on the fate of dismissed charges. She says the judge wouldn’t let her participate by phone from out of town.
She claims Ruest isn’t considering the interests of victims. Ruest says she’ll take up the prosecutor’s statement later in the hearing.
Ruest will decide whether to appoint a new magisterial district judge to handle re-filed charges in the death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey.
Prosecutors want a new judge to be appointed as they pursue reinstated criminal charges in the death of a pledge after a Penn State fraternity party earlier this year.
The hearing Thursday will determine whether a new district judge will preside over what will be a second preliminary hearing.
District Judge Allen Sinclair in September threw out involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges against eight defendants in the February death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey.
Other charges were forwarded to county court for trial. Prosecutors recently added additional charges based on recovered footage from the house’s security system.
Authorities say Piazza suffered a fractured skull, damaged spleen and other injuries and consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol the night of a pledge ceremony.