After a week of preliminary hearings, a judge on Friday dropped the most serious charges for eight former Penn State Beta Theta Pi fraternity members in the death of former pledge Tim Piazza.
The charges, which included involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault, could have carried a 10 to 20 year prison sentence.
The only remaining charges are misdemeanors: a reckless endangerment charge, which carries up to a two-year prison sentence, and hazing and alcohol-related charges. Four of the total 18 defendants had all of their charges dropped.
Although the most serious charges were dismissed, 14 will still face trial for the lesser charges.
Shortly after the judge’s ruling, district attorney Stacy Parks Miller announced she plans to appeal and re-file manslaughter charges.