First Guilty Plea in Penn State Frat Hazing Death of Timothy Piazza

(From NBC News)

A former Penn State fraternity member pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges stemming from the hazing death of student Timothy Piazza, who died last year after falling down a flight of stairs at a fraternity house.

Ryan Burke, 21, became the first person in the February 2017 death to plead guilty, in a case in which 26 people have been charged, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement.

Piazza’s death and other incidents have thrown a spotlight on fraternity practices and alcohol abuse and hazing. Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore from Lebanon, New Jersey, died at the Beta Theta Pi house. Prosecutors have said he was served 18 drinks over 82 minutes.

“Mr. Burke decided to step forward at his earliest opportunity to acknowledge and accept his responsibility,” Burke’s attorney, Philip Masorti, said outside court.

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