Tensions rise during 3rd day of hearing for PSU frat brothers

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- Courtroom tensions are running high as members of a shuttered Penn State fraternity return for Day Three of a preliminary hearing on charges related to the death of a pledge after a night of heavy drinking.

Less than an hour into Tuesday morning's hearing the judge called for a five-minute recess after attorneys began bickering.

One defense attorney accused the district attorney of putting on a show.

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller responded by calling defense attorneys "the peanut gallery."

Outraged, defense attorney Ted Simon called for immediate sanctions against the D.A.

Some defense attorneys are asking that their cases be separated, calling the fact that more than 16 defense attorneys are present at the same time at the same hearing as waste of time.

The cases of sixteen of the defendants, all members of the now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi chapter, are being considered. Two others have waived the hearing.

Some of the accused face involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges in the death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Others face less serious charges, including evidence tampering and hazing.

Piazza was severely injured at the house in February, a night captured on security video. Help wasn't called until the next morning.

The judge will decide if there's enough evidence to send the case to trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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