Former Penn State fraternity brother gets two years of probation for hindering investigation
Karen Muir, front, and Braxton Becker walked out of the Centre County Courthouse Annex in Bellefonte after the sentencing on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. (Min Xian/WPSU)
The former house manager of Penn State’s now-banned Beta Theta Pi fraternity was sentenced to two years of probation on Wednesday for a misdemeanor charge. A Centre County jury found Braxton Becker guilty of “hindering apprehension” in May.
Becker was found guilty of intentionally concealing evidence from a police investigation into the death of Penn State student Tim Piazza from alcohol hazing while pledging the fraternity.
His attorney, Karen Muir, said Becker has been “accountable” in the legal process since the case began two and a half years ago.
Becker has “learned a very hard and very valuable lesson,” Muir said in court.
Brian Zarallo, with the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General, said Becker made a “conscious choice” in reportedly deleting surveillance footage from the fraternity house and was “well aware of his conduct.” The FBI recovered deleted footage in 2017, which led to additional criminal prosecution in the case.
Becker is currently on probation for previous unrelated charges. His attorney asked for either no further probation or that it be concurrent. The judge decided Becker’s new probation would follow his current term.
Becker was also ordered to pay fees and a $5,000 fine for the use of public resources, according to Judge Brian Marshall. He will also complete 100 hours of community service.
Muir told reporters that Becker will appeal the sentence.
Becker was the first to go to trial in the extensive legal cases related to Piazza’s death. Other former fraternity members have pleaded guilty to hazing-related charges.