(WPRI) – Eyewitness News has learned a Rhode Island man is being charged in connection with a fraternity pledge’s death in Pennsylvania.
19-year-old Lars Kenyon of Barrington is being charged with recklessly endangering another person, hazing, furnishing alcohol to minors, and unlawful acts relative to liquor.
According to court documents, Kenyon is one of eighteen Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers facing charges in relation to the death of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza.
The incident allegedly happened at the fraternity house on Penn State University’s campus back on February 4, 2017.
A grand jury investigation found Piazza died after falling down a flight of stairs leading to the basement of the fraternity house. The investigation also revealed Piazza and other pledge brothers were pressured to drink excessively.
Security video obtained by police allegedly shows fraternity brothers, including Kenyon, carrying Piazza up the stairs, pouring liquid on Piazza, and one brother even slapping Piazza in the face in an attempt to wake him up. Prosecutors claim the brothers waited about 12 hours before calling for help.
Of the eighteen fraternity brothers charged, eight of them face manslaughter charges.
“Involuntary manslaughter is very simple in Pennsylvania,” says CBS News Legal Analyst Rikki Klieman. “It is reckless or grossly negligent conduct even from doing lawful or unlawful acts so that means there doesn’t have to be any intent.”
The Beta Theta Pi fraternity has been banned from the Penn State campus in the wake of Piazza’s death.
We “are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that no other parents will have to go through the pain and grief we are currently experiencing,” said Jim Piazza of his son’s death.