AG’s office takes over Penn State fraternity-fall death case

A view of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house is seen Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, on Penn State’s campus in State College, Pa. (Phoebe Sheehan/Centre Daily Times via AP)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania prosecutors are taking over a criminal case stemming from the death last year of a Penn State fraternity pledge after a night of drinking and hazing.

Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Monday his office agreed to assume the case from Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna.

Former members of now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi are accused of various offenses related to the February death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey. Piazza had fallen several times.

Their charges range from alcohol offenses to aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter.

Cantorna cited a conflict of interest in seeking the AG’s involvement, but Shapiro’s spokesman declined to provide details.

Cantorna beat incumbent District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller in May’s Democratic primary.

Shapiro’s team is launching an independent review of the case.

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