Arrests warrants in death of LSU fraternity pledge

Charges include negligent homicide, student had BAC of .495%

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
October 11, 2017 - 9:22 am
Categories: 

Cops at LSU today announced warrants for the arrest of ten people in the case of a fraternity pledge who died last month.

LSU PD released:

As part of the LSU Police Department’s investigation into the death of LSU student Maxwell Gruver, arrest warrants have been issued for the following individuals to be booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on the charges listed below:
 
Matthew Alexander Naquin, (charges of hazing and negligent homicide) 
Zachary Castillo, (charge of hazing)
Elliott Eaton, (charge of hazing)
Patrick Forde, (charge of hazing)
Sean Paul Gott, DOB, (charge of hazing)
Zachary Hall, (charge of hazing)
Ryan Isto, (charge of hazing)
Hudson Kirkpatrick, (charge of hazing)
Sean Pennison, (charge of hazing)
Nicholas Taulli, (charge of hazing)

Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says Naquin was singled out due to his alleged role in the incident.

"It shows that the sheriff's office believes there is probable cause to believe that that individual likely gave the alcohol or other substance to the victim in this case", said Ciolino. "It does show that law enforcement is treating hazing and the harmful consequences of hazing, if it results in death, it's going to be treated as a criminal homicide case."

The coroner says Gruver died with more than six times the legal limit of alcohol in his system, a blood alcohol level of .495%. 

"If you look at all the texts, that's going to let you know that certainly this is a toxic level that is often times associated with death", Dr. Beau Clark said.

The report said:

The autopsy findings concluded that:
Manner of death is an accident
Cause of death is acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration.

(The coroner's news release is below)

Police documents show investigators believe that Gruver was involved in a game with other Phi Delta Theta pledges where they had to answer questions about the fraternity. If they failed to get the answer right, they had to drink alcohol.

The negligent homicide charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.  The hazing charges carry a maximum 30 days in jail.
 
"Officials say the LSU Police Department has communicated with the Gruver family throughout the investigation process, and the university has also been in touch with them regarding today’s arrests," the news release said. "As part of LSU’s review of the culture and environment present on campus, LSU President F. King Alexander formed the President's Task Force on Greek Life. The Task Force will begin the review the overall governance and oversight of Greek organizations."

 

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