Matthew Alexander Naquin, a former LSU student accused of negligent homicide in the 2017 hazing death of Phi Delta Theta pledge Max Gruver, was “vocal” about not wanting Gruver to be a member of the fraternity.
According to newly revealed court documents, Ryan Matthew Isto, Naquin’s former roommate, told East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors that Naquin reacted “harshly” to Gruver being given a “snap bid” by active Phi Delta Theta members. Isto made these statements when he pleaded guilty earlier this month to misdemeanor hazing.
Furthermore, Isto told prosecutors that Gruver was the only incoming member that Naquin wanted to cut from the fraternity and that Naquin said “Max is not a good fit,” but did not a specific reason as to why.
The 20-year-old Naquin, of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, is scheduled to stand trial on July 8 for the death of the 18-year-old Gruver.
via The Advocate:
“When the defendant, Matthew Naquin, realized that Mr. Gruver had been extended a ‘snap bid’ and signed it, the defendant ‘tore up and threw out’ Mr. Gruver’s snap bid due to the defendant’s desire for the victim to not be offered a bid or join Phi Delta Theta,” prosecutor Morgan Johnson wrote in a recent court filing in the Naquin case, quoting what Isto told prosecutors.
Prosecutor Morgan Johnson is seeking state District Judge Beau Higginbotham’s permission to use Naquin’s alleged statements to Isto at Naquin’s trial. Naquin’s attorney, John McLindon, was in a trial in Lafayette on Tuesday and said he had not seen Johnson’s latest filing.
Authorities have alleged that Naquin and other senior Phi Delta Theta members targeted Gruver in a hazing ritual they called “Bible study,” in which pledges were required to chug hard liquor when they gave incorrect answers to questions about the fraternity.
In addition to Naquin and Isto, 22-year-old former student Sean-Paul Gott pleaded no contest to misdemeanor hazing and pledged his cooperation with prosecutors and agreed to testify at Naquin’s trial.
As a result of Gruver’s death, Phi Delta Theta has been banned from LSU’s campus until at least 2033.