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first_imgCourtesy of Piazza Family(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) — A former Penn State fraternity brother has entered the first guilty plea in connection with the death of pledge Tim Piazza, who died after falling down fraternity house stairs during an alcohol-fueled hazing ritual, prosecutors said.Ryan Burke, who was accused of forcing Piazza to drink from a bottle of vodka the night of his fall, pleaded guilty Wednesday to four counts of hazing and five counts relating to unlawful acts involving liquor, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office said.Burke, now 21, admitted to his role in the hazing and will be sentenced on July 31, according to prosecutors.“This is a tragedy and he is anxious to make amends,” Burke’s attorney Philip Masorti said Wednesday, according to the Bridgewater Courier News. “There are too few words to describe a loss so great. This young man understands that.”Piazza family attorney Tom Kline told ABC News, “We are pleased to see one individual accept responsibility and encourage others to follow in his steps.”Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro added that his “office is committed to seeking justice on behalf of Tim Piazza and his family and holding every responsible individual accountable for their actions, consistent with the law and the evidence in this case.”Twenty-five others face charges in the case which stemmed from Piazza’s February 2017 death.On the night of Feb. 2, 2017, after taking part in a hazing ritual known as the “Gauntlet,” a heavily intoxicated Piazza was heard falling down the stairs at the Beta Theta Pi house, and later found lying face down at the bottom.Fraternity members carried him upstairs and put him on a couch, where they dumped water on his face and slapped him in an apparent attempt to wake him, to no avail, according to a grand jury report which cited evidence including surveillance video, witness testimony and phone records. When one pledge tried to intervene, insisting they get Piazza some help, the pledge was shoved into a wall and was told that the brothers had it under control, according to the grand jury report.As the night went on, Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore, tried over and over to stand on his own, falling each time and eventually going still, according to the grand jury report.No one called 911 until the next morning, when his breathing was labored and his skin had turned gray.Prosecutors have claimed the brothers waited to get Piazza help in an attempt to cover up their drinking and “coordinate a story.”Piazza died on Feb. 4 of traumatic brain injuries.Beta Theta Pi has since been barred from Penn State.Since Piazza’s death, his parents Jim and Evelyn Piazza have channeled their grief into fighting for the safety of future college students.“We believe that there needs to be stiffer criminal penalties against hazing,” Jim Piazza told ABC News last year. “Nobody is trying to kill Greek life — we’re just trying to make it safer.”“We’re both of the mindset — Tim would not want us to fade away and just continually grieve,” he added. “Trying to make a difference for others, I think, is somewhat therapeutic.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


first_imgCraig Young took five wickets as Ireland eased to a comfortable victory over Scotland in the first one-day international in Dublin. The Scots got off to a disappointing start as they lost Matty Cross for just nine runs after he edged Max Sorensen’s delivery to wicketkeeper Stuart Poynter. Young then made his introduction as he removed Calum MacLeod (25) and Hamish Gardiner (10) in quick succession. The Derry bowler took his third when he clean bowled Preston Mommsen (10) to leave the Scots in trouble at 62 for four. Michael Leask offered some resistance with a half-century but when he and Safyaan Sharif (18) also fell to Young, Scotland’s hopes of posting a more challenging tally were over. The Irish got off to a steady start in reply and took their time building their response. They had scored just 11 runs when Iain Wardlaw removed John Anderson lbw, but the hosts soon stepped things up. The 39-run partnership between Andrew Balbirnie (38) and Andrew Poynter (16) put them in control before the latter was caught by Cross with Ireland just shy of the 50-mark. But that only marked O’Brien’s arrival and his 56 not out was the catalyst for victory, with the Surrey batsman scoring two runs at the end to confirm the win with 13 overs remaining. The teams meet again on Wednesday before Friday’s final ODI. Press Associationcenter_img The 24-year-old medium-pacer helped limit the tourists at The Village in Malahide to 172 runs with figures of five for 46 on their way to being bowled out with nine overs remaining. Ireland comfortably beat that total when Kevin O’Brien’s unbeaten half-century saw them home with with plenty to spare as they finished on 173 for three to secure a seven-wicket win. last_img read more

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