Transcript for Ex-frat member pleads guilty in hazing death
We're back now with the first guilty plea in that Penn state hazing case. 21-year-old Ryan Burke pleading guilty to charges related to the death of Timothy piazza who died after an alcohol fueled frat party last year. Gio Benitez has the story from the start. Reporter: Good morning. Prosecutors have said Tim piazza was served 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes. Ryan Burke is one of the young men who served him that alcohol. He's pleading guilty to hazing and alcohol-related charges. His attorney suggesting the evidence was just too strong. This morning, one of the former members of what was Penn's state beta theta pi fraternity awaiting sentencing. Mr. Burke decided to step forward his earliest opportunity to he accept his responsibility. Reporter: Pleading guilty to nine charges related to the hazing death of 19-year-old Tim piazza. This is a tragedy and he is anxious to make amends. Reporter: Burke 1 of 26 former fraternity members facing charges seen on surveillance video giving piazza a handle of vodka during an alcohol-fueled hazing ritual which ended with him falling down a flight of stairs. Piazza's fraternity brothers taking 12 hours to call 911 after finding the pledge inebriated and unconscious. There are too few words to describe a loss so great. This young man understands that. Condolences go to the piazza family. Reporter: Piazza's grieving family has fought to get justice. I don't understand how they could be so heartless and inhumane. Reporter: Their attorney saying the family is pleased to see one individual accept responsibility and encourage others to follow in his steps. We came to court. We acknowledged responsibility and he's prepared to be sentenced. Reporter: Now these were misdemeanors but Burke could face time in prison when he's sentenced next month. 25 other men are charged in connection with piazza's death. The attorney general telling us overnight he plans to hold every responsible individual accountable. Robin. Gio, thank you. Our senior legal analyst sunny Hostin back with us to talk about this. Yeah. How do you think this man pleading guilty will impact the others. I think we'll see other plea, as well. I think we'll see other people taking responsibility. We may even see this young man cooperating with the government and testifying against his former fraternity brothers and I think that's really important here because we have the death of a young man, someone that had such a promising future and people need to be held accountable for their action sdmrz how will this impact his sentencing? You know, I think when you do take a plea, prosecutors certainly sometimes recommend less jail time and perhaps that will happen if he cooperates with prosecutors. Prosecutors will also recommend less jail time ultimately it's up to a judge but I can't imagine he will escape all prison time in a case like this. This is, again, about the death of a young person. Will finally people take this seriously. I think so. I think, you know, maybe decades ago or another one or two generations ago these were called regrettable accidents. Now prosecutors know this is unlawful behavior. I think attitudes have changed but not only -- and prosecutors are taking a hard line with these hazing deaths but not only attitudes have changed we have electronic evidence. The security cameras made the difference. We had security cameras here. Emails, text messages and so given the fact that we're in a new time, a new day with technology, prosecutors have much more in their arsenal and I think we're going to be seeing a lot more prosecution of these hazing deaths. I was doing research. The government apparently doesn't have statistics as to how many deaths that have occurred because of hazing which I think is not a good thing and perhaps the government will start taking a look but over the past eight years you have over 60 deaths, hazing deaths and so this is something that needs to be taken very seriously. I know and I keep thinking of the piazza family, you know, and they are adamant in making sure that change comes about. And justice. And justice. We will see you later on "The view." You will. You will. 11:00. We'll be tuning in. Thank you, sunny.
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