Bo Han Song

Former Beta Theta Pi brother Bo Han Song exits the Centre County Court Annex on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. Song was the third former brother to enter a guilty plea.

BELLEFONTE — Bo Han Song, the final Beta Theta Pi brother to give the late pledge Timothy Piazza an alcoholic drink, pleaded guilty to several charges on Thursday morning ahead of the February trial centered on hazing within the now-banned fraternity.

Song entered an open guilty plea to two counts of furnishing alcohol to minors, reflecting some of the charges that were bound over from a May preliminary hearing.

Song’s sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.

He accepted the charges at the Centre County Courthouse Annex with his attorney John Sughrue under Magisterial District Judge Brian Marshall.

During the plea, Sughrue said Song accepts the charges for giving alcohol to individuals who were under 21 years of age, while he was 18 years old.

Song was charged in November following the recovery of surveillance footage from the night of the alcohol-fueled gauntlet hazing ritual in February.

Song’s guilty plea is directly tied to Piazza and another pledge, as Sughrue said Song provided alcohol to Piazza during the fraternity’s bid acceptance night. His client held up a bottle of vodka for Piazza to drink from during a social that followed the pledge event.

Evidence suggests Piazza was given 18 drinks in 82 minutes.

Later, Piazza sustained injuries falling down the stairs of the Beta Theta Pi house. The 19-year-old sophomore died two days later on Feb. 4, 2017.

Sughrue has not yet a given statement after the plea.

“The guilty plea of Bo Han Song is one more step in a long road of towards justice for the parents of Tim Piazza,” Tom Kline, the Piazza family attorney, said in a statement.

Song is the third former Beta Theta Pi fraternity member to plead guilty and accept charges in the case surrounding Piazza’s death.

Song was originally held for trial in February for three counts of hazing, three counts of unlawful acts relative to liquor and a summary offense of consumption of alcohol by a minor.

District Judge Steven Lachman dismissed the most serious charge of recklessly endangering another person and the charges of furnishing alcohol to minors against Song in May. Prior to that hearing, Song was facing potential charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and simple assault. These charges were later dropped by the state Office of the Attorney General.

Ryan Burke was the first former brother to plead guilty in the hazing case and was sentenced on July 31.

Burke, 21, received three months of home detention, 27 months probation and $27,000 in fines on the basis of nine charges — including four counts of hazing.

Following suit, Joseph Ems pleaded guilty to several charges on Aug. 8 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 27.


If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.