The Latest: Hearing in Penn State frat death enters 7th day

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) The Latest on a preliminary hearing for Penn State fraternity members charged after a pledge died (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

A Pennsylvania judge says he'll rule Friday morning on whether there's enough evidence against Penn State fraternity brothers in the death of a pledge to send the case to trial.

District Judge Allen Sinclair made the announcement Thursday after the seventh day of a preliminary hearing.

Eighteen members of now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi and the fraternity face charges that stem from the February death of 19-year-old Lebanon, New Jersey, resident Tim Piazza after a night of drinking and hazing.

Defense lawyers are arguing the judge should dismiss some or all of the charges, which for some include involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault.

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12:20 p.m.

Defense attorneys for Penn State fraternity members charged over the death of a pledge say their clients' roles were minimal or did not amount to criminal behavior.

A preliminary hearing for 16 members of Beta Theta Pi continued for a seventh day Thursday, with lawyers telling District Judge Allen Sinclair they had little reason to anticipate that 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey, would consume dangerous amounts of alcohol and fall several times.

District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller says many of the defense arguments are more suitable for a jury to consider. Sinclair says he may decide by the weekend whether to forward charges for trial.

The fraternity members and the fraternity itself face charges that range from aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter to hazing and alcohol violations.

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8:40 a.m.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers are resuming arguments in the case of Penn State fraternity members charged in the death of a pledge after a night of drinking and hazing.

The seventh day of a preliminary hearing was being held Thursday before a district judge who'll decide if prosecutors have enough evidence to send the case to county court for trial.

The hearing involves 16 former members of Beta Theta Pi and the fraternity itself. Some face aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter, while others are accused of less serious offenses.

The case involves the February death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey. Authorities say he consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol and fell several times.

Arguments may wrap up Thursday, but the judge isn't expected to rule before Friday.

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12:10 a.m.

A district judge in Pennsylvania will soon decide whether prosecutors have presented enough evidence to hold a trial for former members of a now-closed Penn State fraternity charged in connection with a pledge's death.

A preliminary hearing will resume for a seventh day on Thursday.

Attorneys for 11 of the 17 defendants are still waiting to make final arguments before the judge will decide whether to send charges to county court for trial.

Former members of Beta Theta Pi face charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault to hazing and alcohol violations.

Authorities say 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey, consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol and fell several times, including down a set of basement stairs.

An autopsy showed he suffered severe head and abdominal injuries.

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