A Lousiana grand jury has indicted four people on charges in relation to the death of Maxwell Raymond Gruver, an 18-year-old student at LSU who died on September 14, 2017.
According to reports, Sean-Paul Gott, 21, Ryan Isto, 19, and Patrick Forde, 21, were indicted on a misdemeanor charge of hazing. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to a maximum of 30 days in jail. A fourth student, Matthew Alexander Naquin, was indicted on a felony negligent homicide charge. That charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Gruver, an 18-year-old LSU freshman from Roswell, Georgia, died on Thursday, September 14, after he was taken to a Baton Rouge hospital to be treated for an unspecified “medical emergency.” An autopsy is planned for Friday, September 15.
Witnesses said that Naquin singled out Gruver during a hazing ritual involving 18 to 20 pledges and forced him to drink more than other pledges on the night before his death, according to a police report.
Naquin targeted Gruver because he was frequently late for events and forced him to drink because he was having trouble reciting the Greek alphabet during “Bible Study,” a ritual testing their fraternity knowledge, witnesses told police.
One pledge said Gruver was made to take at least 10-12 “pulls” of 190-proof Diesel, while other pledges had to drink less of the hard liquor, according to the police report. A second fraternity member said he told Naquin and another member to “cut it out” because it was “getting out of hand,” and a third member said he warned Naquin and the other member to “slow it down” several times, to no avail.
Police originally arrested 10 people only pressed charges against five of them.
An autopsy found that Gruver’s blood-alcohol content was more than six times the legal limit for driving.