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Text messages take forefront in Beta Theta Pi hearings

Detective David D. Scicchitano testifies at preliminary hearing for PSU frat house brothers charged in the death of pledge Timothy Piazza. (Art Lien)

BELLEFONTE - Preliminary hearings for 16 of the 18 Beta Theta members facing charges in the death of Timothy Piazza continued Monday.

After taking a month recess, the prosecution resumed their case focusing on e-mails and texts that the brothers sent after Piazza fell down the stairs the night prior to his death.

One of the messages said that Piazza "looked dead" and another message speculating how much trouble the fraternity would be in for their role in his death.

After the messages were revealed in court Piazza family attorney Tom Kline said the sophomore was "left for dead."

Defense attorneys started their cross examination Monday afternoon, focusing on the difference between being forced to do something and doing it on their own free will.

The hearings will resume Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.

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