Frat house manager Tim Bream a 'missing piece' in Penn State criminal case
BELLEFONTE, Pa. - The marathon hearing that will decide the next step in a criminal case surrounding a Penn State frat house will continue into September.
A slew of members were charged after a New Jersey pledge suffered fatal injuries at the home. Someone else who lived there could be key to the case, but attorneys have to find him first.
The defense said they tried to subpoena 56-year-old Tim Bream, the frat house manager and head trainer for the Penn State football team, but have been unable to.
The judge issued a contempt of court hearing for Aug. 30th and he may be forced to testify.
The 5th day of the preliminary hearing for 16 Penn State frat brothers has come and gone without a decision on a trial.
3 additional days are set for the end of the month, including a contempt of court hearing for Bream, who was called by the defense.
"There are a number of pieces to this puzzle and Bream is certainly a missing piece here," said Piazza family attorney Tom Kline.
The defense said Bream was in the Beta Theta Pi frat house the night pledge Tim Piazza repeatedly fell during a hazing ritual.
In all, 18 members are charged in connection with Piazza's death.
Defense attorneys said Bream, being the head of the household, sanctioned the events, including the gauntlet: a booze fueled obstacle course.
"Young men sat down with this 56 year old and said this is the plan we want to do at the pledge event, is it okay?" Defense attorney Evan Kelly said.
However, Centre County DA Stacy Parks Miller said Bream has been investigated and his testimony would not negate the actions of the frat brothers.
"What I got from their questioning is there was an older man living in this house, therefore if my clients committed any crime, they should not be allowed to be charged, because there was an older man. If they thought they were doing anything wrong, he would pull them back and stop it," she said.
Even if called to testify, Bream could plead the Fifth. Everyone is due back in court Aug. 30th. Kline said he will be considered as part of a civil suit the family plans to file.