Nashville native charged in Penn State fraternity death

Through grand jury testimony, police questioning and a review of Beta Theta Pi's complex video surveillance system, authorities have put together a harrowing narrative of the last hours of Timothy Piazza's life. Mike Deak, (Bridgewater, N.J.) Courier New

NASHVILLE - One of the 18 Penn State fraternity members prosecutors say played a key role in the death of a young man trying to join the fraternity is a Nashville native and prominent high school wrestler.

Jonah Neuman, 19, is accused of preventing others in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity from seeking emergency medical help for Timothy Piazza, a 19 year old who died in February after drinking heavily and falling repeatedly during a fraternity event. 

Neuman reportedly "backpacked" Piazza, according to local Pennsylvania media outlet PennLive.com. The move entails putting a backpack full of books onto a drunk person in order to prevent them from rolling over and choking on their own vomit. 

The Nashville native is also accused of slamming another fraternity member into the wall when the person suggested they should call for help. Neuman reportedly said they "had it under control." Hours later, Piazza died. 

Neuman attended Battle Ground Academy, a prominent private school in Franklin. He was a successful member of the wrestling team, winning numerous honors.

A representative from Battle Ground Academy said the school had no comment.

After graduating in 2015, Neuman enrolled at Penn State, where he served as a manager for the wrestling team, according to the team's yearbook. The school's student directory says he's studying kinesiology, the study of human movement typically associated with athletic trainers and similar careers.

PennLive reports Neuman faces 57 charges related to Piazza's death, including involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, 14 counts of recklessly endangering another person and an additional 14 counts of hazing.

Reach Dave Boucher at 615-259-8892, dboucher@tennessean.com and on Twitter @Dave_Boucher1. 

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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