Former Penn State fraternity member pleads guilty to nine charges in Tim Piazza hazing death

The first guilty plea has been entered in connection with the hazing death of Penn State student Tim Piazza.

Ryan Burke, 21, pleaded guilty to nine remaining charges, including four hazing misdemeanors. Other charges had previously been tossed.

Piazza was 19 when he drank a dangerous amount of alcohol and suffered fatal injuries in a series of falls last year on the Pennsylvania campus. Members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity waited too long and took half-hearted steps to call for help, according to prosecutors.

Burke was accused of giving Piazza a bottle of vodka at the party.

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Timothy Piazza -- Penn State fraternity hazing death
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Timothy Piazza -- Penn State fraternity hazing death
Timothy Piazza, 19, died after an alcohol-fueled fraternity pledge event at Penn State University in 2017.

(Photo via: The Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation)
About the life that Timothy Piazza was creating, before his tragic death at age 19. https://t.co/ul6jqMghXV
"Gruesome" surveillance video is key part of prosecution's case in Penn State hazing death https://t.co/aQDJSipbU3 https://t.co/NpR8OM0Rup
Penn State hearing to decide whether the Timothy Piazza case goes to trial. https://t.co/kfvWy8V8FB
Penn State Board Of Trustees To Hold Public Meeting After Frat Related Death https://t.co/p3xADZT8UO #PSU #TimothyPiazza
The parents of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza who died after a hazing ritual blame his fraternity brothers for “murder”… https://t.co/1A83ckECGV
Prosecutors show PSU frat video from party where pledge died  via @PittsburghPG
The details keep getting worse... Penn State pledge ‘looked like a corpse’ before death from frat-house hazing… https://t.co/1WP793hzgM
Jonah Neuman is one of 18 people facing charges after Timothy Piazza died in February. #WATE https://t.co/9uJY7PnWZt
Timothy Piazza, 19, died after an alcohol-fueled fraternity pledge event at Penn State University in 2017.

(Photo via: The Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation)
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"There are too few words to describe a loss so great. This young man understands that," Burke's lawyer Philip Masorti said. "This is a tragedy, and he is anxious to make amends."

Twenty-five others still face charges relating to the death of Piazza, who grew up in Lebanon, N.J. A magistrate has previously thrown out the most serious charges, involuntary manslaughter, against five defendants.

"We are pleased to see one individual accept responsibility and encourage others to follow in his steps," Piazza family lawyer Tom Kline said.

Burke will be sentenced on July 31.

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