Hazing News

Defendant Jonathan Kanzler in Piazza case sentenced; expresses his remorse

Jonathan Kanzler sentencing and remarks


Family friends described [Jonathan] Kanzler as a caring person who has rededicated himself to helping others since Piazza’s death. His mother expressed sorrow for the Piazza family and said that she knows “nothing can compare to their loss.” She said it feels “selfish for me to talk about heartbreak,” knowing what the Piazzas have gone through.

Defense attorney Brian McMonagle said Kanzler has moved forward “with a single purpose: to honor Tim Piazza’s memory,” adding that he took responsibility for his actions and has cooperated with law enforcement.

After becoming certified as an EMT last year, Kanzler has since volunteered for 140 hours with an EMS service at Lehigh University, where he now goes to school and will be a resident assistant in the fall. Marshall credited him for the “extraordinary amount of community service,” he has performed.

Kanzler also expressed sorrow for the Piazzas and said he regrets the “thoughtlessness” of his actions and attitude toward drinking at the time. He also said he wants the Piazzas to know he is sorry he did not realize their son was in need of medical attention when he left the party.

Kanzler is among 17 defendants to have entered guilty pleas in the case. Six others were accepted into Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) programs for first-time offenders.

Former chapter president Brendan Young and pledgemaster Daniel Casey still face trial, on charges of recklessly endangering another person, hazing and furnishing, but their case has been put on hold pending an appeal to state Superior Court. Braxton Becker, who was accused of deleting basement video footage from the house’s surveillance system, was found guilty of hindering apprehension and not guilty of tampering and obstruction in May. He is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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