Flanked by Piazza's parents, Centre County district attorney Stacy Parks Miller told reporters that 12 new defendants, as well as five old ones, were facing new criminal charges, including involuntary manslaughter, hazing and giving alcohol to minors.
He was discovered in the Beta Theta Pi basement the next morning unconscious and with severe head and abdominal injuries.
After surveillance footage from the basement of Beta Theta Pi was recovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 12 more brothers were charged in addition to five prior defendants this morning.
Prosecutors previously believed that the basement cameras were not working, but Parks Miller said Monday that fraternity member Braxton Becker deleted the basement footage in front of the police as they were collecting it.
Deleted surveillance video from inside a Penn State fraternity house recovered by prosecutors has led to new charges..
Piazza, 19, of Lebanon, N.J., fell down a set of stairs and suffered fatal injuries on February 9 after prosecutors said pledges were forced to down a unsafe amount of alcohol and were then made to run a "gauntlet" of booze-drinking stations.
Numerous charges the district attorney brought earlier this year had been dismissed, and one lawyer said he was outraged that his client would have to defend himself again.
The Beta Theta Pi house was shut down shortly after Piazza's death and remains empty.
The video showed Piazza stumbling around in the dark at several points, then disappearing from view.
Five of the former fraternity members face involuntary manslaughter charges, and a total of 17 face charges including hazing and tampering with evidence. I can't imagine if there was evidence of hazing the DA didn't have it when she brought the initial charge.
"Not every tragedy is a crime", he added. As a result, those defendants again face the possibility of several years in prison, if convicted.
"We spent the last eight months wondering how this could happen", he said.
"Tim was a happy and caring human being and a wonderful son who just wanted to join an organization to find friendships and camaraderie". "Visions of him laying in the hospital bed, battered and bruised, looking like he got hit by a tractor-trailer made no sense".