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Pledge Died After a Frat Party. Now Come the Jail Sentences

Dad of late Timothy Piazza: Men were 'individual players in a larger cast, but they knew the script'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2019 9:35 AM CDT
In this May 5, 2017, file photo, Jim and Evelyn Piazza stand by as Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller announces the results of an investigation into the death of their son Timothy Piazza,...   (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP, File)

(Newser) – Sentencing day has come and gone for four ex-fraternity brothers at Penn State tied to the death of a 19-year-old pledge. Per the Centre Daily Times, Michael Bonatucci, Luke Visser, and Joshua Kurczewski were sentenced Tuesday by Centre County Judge Brian Marshall to minimums behind bars ranging from 30 days to three months for their roles in the death of Timothy Piazza, who died after an alcohol-soaked hazing at a Beta Theta Pi pledge party in February 2017. A total of 11 frat members stood trial in the case, with initial charges including manslaughter and reckless endangerment, but those charges were dismissed by the judge, per CNN.

Instead, Bonatucci and Visser, both 21, and Kurczewski, 20, pleaded guilty to hazing charges; Kurczewski also pleaded guilty to a charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor. A fourth former BTP brother, Joseph Sala, was also sentenced by Marshall on Tuesday, though he didn't get a prison term, receiving three months of house arrest instead. A source tells CNN a judge may still swap out the jail time handed down to Bonatucci, Visser, and Kurczewski for house arrest. In a statement read before the sentences were given, Piazza's father, Jim, said the three men were "individual players in a larger cast, but they knew the script." (Read more Penn State stories.)

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