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- Guilty Pleas at Penn State
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Newsletter > September 2018 > "Guilty Pleas at Penn State"
Guilty Pleas at Penn State
Tim Burke, Manley Burke, email@example.com
Fifteen months after Timothy Piazza died in a hazing incident fueled by alcohol and the failure to get him help for more than 12 hours, the first of two dozen defendants pled guilty and was sentenced on July 31, 2018.
Ryan Burke was the Rush Chair for the Beta Theta Phi Chapter at Penn State. He is the first of the defendants to plead guilty. According to an Associated Press story,1 Burke pled guilty to four counts of hazing and five counts of alcohol violations. He had originally faced far more serious charges, including involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. Those counts had been dismissed.
The New York Times reports that Burke was sentenced to three months of house arrest and “In addition to the house arrest, Mr. Burke was sentenced to 27 months of probation and ordered to pay fines, costs and restitution.”2
The Times article reports that Tom Kline, a lawyer for the parents of Timothy Piazza, said that “25 other defendants had entered not-guilty fees and would face trial in February.”
The Associated Press story describes a sentencing memo that had been presented to the court by the prosecutor as saying that Burke “appeared unconcerned,” even after Piazza had fallen down the basement stairs and had to be carried to a first-floor sofa. The sentencing memo is quoted as saying that [Burke] “is seen playfully hoisting a girl over his shoulders, jumping on the sofa next to Piazza, and then rolling over and on top of Piazza as he is getting up before leaving the room. He leaves Piazza to be dealt with by others.”
1 “First Penn State Student Sentenced in Death of Fraternity Pledge,” Associated Press story posted July 31, 2018.