Ex-Penn State fraternity brothers face new charges in hazing death

The new charges in the death of pledge Tim Piazza are the result of an investigation into newly recovered surveillance video from the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house basement, authorities said.
6:42 | 11/14/17

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Transcript for Ex-Penn State fraternity brothers face new charges in hazing death
New charges in the Penn state hazing case. They discovered disturbing video that was deleted after piazza's death showing just how much he was given to drink. ABC's gio Benitez is outside the courthouse in Pennsylvania, good morning, gio. Reporter: Robin, good morning to you. Prosecutors say that video shows even more hazing and this morning, they're calling it a crucial piece of evidence. This morning, potential bombshell evidence in the alleged hazing death of Penn state freshman Tim piazza. The district attorney charges 12 more of piazza's former fraternity brothers with a variety of charges after the FBI recovered deleted video from the night the 19-year-old died. Missing from the evidence in this case was what really happened downstairs in that dark basement that night. This video is the missing link. They claimed we don't know what else happened other than what was in the upstairs video and we don't know what happened in the basement. Guess what, guys. Now we know. Reporter: In all 26 brothers now charged. Many facing allegations from reckless endangerment to manslaughter. Police say the students led them to believe a security camera in the fraternity's basement wasn't working. But instead they allegedly deleted the video. Prosecutors say the now recovered video shows the brothers giving piazza 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes. That's a drink every 4 1/2 minutes. Tim never gets his own alcohol. It's just the brotherstying to give him alcohol. So they just keep handing him more and more. The wine, the vodka and the beer. Reporter: At a previous hearing the court had already seen other videos showing piazza stumble through the house. At one point falling down a flight of stairs. No one in the house called for help for 12 hours. One defense attorney says his client is innocent. I'm very confident that when we get to litigate these issues in a courtroom, not in a press conference the charges regarding involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, hazing and reckless endangerment and the other serious charges will be dismissed against Michael. Reporter: This morning the parents of Tim piazza have a warning for other families. Talk to your children. Tell them not to get involved in this nonsense. Your life is too important to put it on the line for a brotherhood or a sisterhood. It matters. Reporter: And they say they've heard from parents all across this country and one mother in particular sent them this letter and it just meant so much. It said this, Tim's life mattered to me. Robin. Absolutely, absolutely. How did police even know about the deleted video? Reporter: So that video that they already had, they actually saw the time stamps and, robin, they saw there was a big missing chunk. They said, boy, that doesn't make sense, they sent that to the FBI. The FBI recovered it. Great police work there. All right, gio, thank you very much. Dan Abrams is back along with our senior legal correspondent sunny Hostin. So, new tape. New charges. Yeah, and, look, it's very disturbing that they apparently deleted this tape. I mean that in and of itself a crime but I say two thing, number one a tape can make all the difference being able to watch something happen can change everything. On the one hand you can say we think this happened. We think that happened. Watching it happen is a totally different story. But with that said, I'm not certain that this changes the legal analysis with regard to the most serious crimes because, remember, a judge has already dismissed the involuntary manslaughter aggravated assault charges. What we see in the basement is the drinking part. And so I don't know that this is going to lead the judge to say, this now raised to the level of involuntary manslaughter. Completely disagree with my good friend, Dan Abrams. I mean, you know, involuntary manslaughter difficult to prove as a prosecutor because it's an unintentional killing. People are more comfortable when you can see intent. But in order to prove involuntary manslaughter you have to prove a causal link between a defendant's conduct and the victim's death. This is the missing link because the vehicle shows he was plied with 18 drinks in 82 mens. But for the alcohol consumption and but for them giving it to him and but for the fact that they didn't even help him, he would be alive today. That's all the prosecutors need here. They knew all that before and so -- They didn't have a video of it they didn't know who gave it to him. They knew all the facts surround what happened and the judge made that decision. They deleted it. So they obviously knew something was wrong. Right, no question. That's a separate crime. So, you just have to evaluate both the crimes and the individuals separately which is we can't lump all these people in together and say, oh, there are 18 people who did this or this. You have to evaluate each and every one of these cases separately and say what did this person do? I think the prosecutors have done -- now you have this missing link four out of the ten defendants have been charged with involuntary manslaughter. I would bet my bottom dollar those are the four that plied him with the drinks is the missing link. Remember, again, it's critical to remember the judge already evaluated involuntary -- Without the video, Dan. You feel that -- seeing the video. It makes a huge difference. I made so many cases where the video maybes all the difference. When you can place those jurors at the scene of the crime and you can tell those jurors they knew they did something wrong and that's why they deleted the tape that's all I need. This isn't about jurors. Right now you're talking about can you overcome it with the judge and that's the first question they're going to have to deal with which is can they convince this judge that things are now fundamentally different. Prosecutors had already by the way refiled the charges. The prosecutors already said, we think there was a problem here. We're refiling the charges, we'll add additional evidence and this will bolster the case. Very doubtful a judge seeing this video and the death of a young promising man is going to dismiss these charges. Most serious charges. We're not talking about dismissing all -- dismissing the deleting the tape and -- I'll see you back at this table when the judge does that. Maybe. I'll bet you at least some of the involuntary manslaughter charges will be dismiss. I'd take that bet. I remember when Timothy's mother and father and brother were right here in the studio and this moment is for them. They have been very steadfast and having this, again, because it was -- you don't delete something if you don't think -- The video speaks the truth. No matter what you think about this case that video tells you what happened. It implies to me they knew what was wrong. Thank you both very much. We'll sway on it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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