First guilty plea entered in Penn State fraternity death

June 13, 2018 - 2:33 pm

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — A former Penn State University fraternity brother entered the first guilty plea in the death of a pledge who was fatally injured after a night of heavy drinking and hazing.

The Centre Daily Times reports that 21-year-old Ryan Burke of Scranton pleaded guilty Wednesday to all nine remaining charges he faced, including four misdemeanor counts of hazing.

Twenty-five other defendants face charges in the death of Timothy Piazza. The freshman pledge drank a dangerous amount of alcohol and suffered fatal injuries in a series of falls during a party last year. Prosecutors say fraternity members did little or nothing to help him.

Burke was accused of giving Piazza a bottle of vodka at the party. He'll be sentenced July 31.

His attorney, Philip Masorti, says Burke is "anxious to make amends."

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