BELLEFONTE, Penn. -- (WNEP) -- A judge in Centre County has dismissed the most serious charges against fraternity brothers accused in the death of a pledge in a hazing ritual earlier this year.
Timothy Piazza, 19, from New Jersey, died in February after a night of drinking and several falls at the Beta Theta Pi house in State College.
Charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and simple assault were dismissed Friday morning for18 fraternity members implicated in the death of Piazza after preliminary hearings that lasted several months.
Lesser charges against three students were dismissed and they will not face trial.
A total of 18 fraternity members were charged and 15 will head to trial for the death of Piazza.
Two of the accused gave up their right to the preliminary hearing including Ed Gilmartin from Scranton. He is charged with tampering with evidence.
Gary DiBileo of Scranton is also one of the accused. The most serious charges against him were dismissed, but he is still charged with counts of hazing and furnishing alcohol.
Earlier this year, the Centre County district attorney showed surveillance video from the frat house the night of the fall in court. She’s hoping to prove frat brothers hid evidence and were negligent in waiting hours to call 911 after Piazza’s fall.
WPIX/Daily Freeman/Patricia R. Doxsey photo