Former Middle TN student charged in fraternity hazing case - WSMV Channel 4

Former Middle TN student charged in deadly fraternity hazing case

Posted: Updated:
Jonah Neuman, a former student at BGA, walks from a Pennsylvania courthouse. He is one of 10 fraternity members charged in the death of  pledge Timothy Piazza. (WSMV/NBC) Jonah Neuman, a former student at BGA, walks from a Pennsylvania courthouse. He is one of 10 fraternity members charged in the death of pledge Timothy Piazza. (WSMV/NBC)
FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

A shocking college campus scandal has a Nashville connection.

One of the Penn State fraternity members facing charges in a young man's death is from Middle Tennessee.

Channel 4 has learned one of the Beta Theta Pi brothers charged in the death of pledge Timothy Piazza is a former student of Battle Ground Academy in Franklin.

Prosecutors say Jonah Neuman is one of multiple men who could have helped Piazza but didn't.

Piazza, who was an engineering student, tumbled down a flight of stairs. He suffered severe head trauma, his blood alcohol content level was four times the legal limit at the time.

Neuman was a celebrated wrestler at Battle Ground Academy and graduated in 2015. He won state medals and was named Athlete of the Week. He went on to become a manager on the Penn State wrestling team. A representative with Battle Ground Academy said Wednesday the school had no comment on the former student.

According to the indictment, Neuman was managing a "shotgun station" of alcohol that night and later noticed Piazza lying unconscious on the landing of the stairs.

The indictment goes on to say that Neuman had attached a backpack to the injured pledge's back during the night, which is used to keep someone who has had too much alcohol from vomiting on themselves.

Prosecutors are calling what happened that night a "cover-up" by the fraternity.

"The fraternity psychology is really about taking order and it's about also knowing when to not challenge power," said Andrew Lohse. "All it would have taken is one person to stand up and have the courage to do the right thing."

Franklin residents said they were shocked to hear about the allegations surrounding the mid-state native. 

"I'm sad for his family and for him that this could change his life forever," said Candy Morehouse, a Franklin resident. "You kind of get this mob mentality where you get swept up in something, and you didn't realize it would go the way it went."

Some said they believe students should speak up when they see hazing occur.

"I have a grandson that goes to Battle Ground Academy, so I would hate to think when he gets older that he would be involved in something like that. It's just not right," said Brenda Parkerson, a Franklin resident. "I definitely think they should get involved. Instead of those that didn't get involved, they really should have. They might have saved his life."

911 calls from that night have also been released. According to the timeline outlined by prosecutors, 12 hours passed from when Piazza first fell then went unconscious to someone calling 911 for help.

"He hasn't moved, he has cold extremities, probably gonna need an ambulance," said the person who called emergency officials.

Neuman is facing 57 charges, including involuntary manslaughter, assault, furnishing alcohol to minors and 14 counts each of reckless endangerment and hazing.

Channel 4 has reached out to Battle Ground Academy for comment on this story. As of news time, we did not hear back.

Click here for information about the Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation.

Copyright 2017 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Former Middle TN student charged in deadly fraternity hazing caseMore>>

Powered by Frankly
WSMV
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WSMV; Nashville, TN. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.