Detective describes probe into Penn State pledge’s death

FILE – In this April 4, 2017, file photo, Penn State's former Beta Theta Pi fraternity house on Burrowes Road sits empty after being shut down in State College, Pa. Beta Theta Pi fraternity members are facing charges in connection with the February death of a pledge after a night of drinking. (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP, File)

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) – A police detective is on the stand for a third day in a preliminary hearing for a Penn State fraternity and 16 members accused in the death of a pledge.

State College Police Detective Dave Scicchitano is being cross-examined by defense attorneys Tuesday in a hearing to determine if there’s enough evidence to send the case to county court for trial.

Lawyers for members of now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi are asking Scicchitano about his investigation into the February death of Tim Piazza after a night of heavy drinking.

The fraternity and some of the members are accused of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault, while others face less serious charges.

Piazza, a resident of Lebanon, New Jersey, ingested a dangerous amount of alcohol and was injured in a series of falls.

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