BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) –LSU confirms that ten people are being charged in connection to a hazing incident at a fraternity that resulted in the death of an 18-year-old student.
Maxwell Gruver, of Roswell, Georgia, died after an alleged hazing incident at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity sometime on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner confirmed Wednesday that an autopsy showed Gruver’s blood-alcohol level was.495 at the time of his death. That is more than six times the legal limit.
The level is extremely high. For example, if Louisiana State Police arrest someone for DWI and their blood alcohol level is above .30, that person must be immediately transported to a hospital.
“Today’s arrests underscore that the ramifications of hazing can be devastating,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “Maxwell Gruver’s family will mourn his loss for the rest of their lives, and several other students are now facing serious consequences – all due to a series of poor decisions.”
The following individuals are being booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
- Matthew Alexander Naquin, 19, of Boerne, TX (charges of hazing and negligent homicide)
- Zachary Castillo, (charge of hazing)
- Elliott Eaton, 20, of New Orleans, La (charge of hazing)
- Patrick Forde, 20, Westwood, MA (charge of hazing)
- Sean Paul Gott, 21, of Lafayette, La (charge of hazing)
- Zachary Hall, 21, of Charlotte, NC (charge of hazing)
- Ryan Isto, 18, of Canada, (charge of hazing)
- Hudson Kirkpatrick, 19, of Baton Rouge, La (charge of hazing)
- Sean Pennison, 21, of Mandeville, La (charge of hazing)
- Nicholas Taulli, 19, of Cypress, TX (charge of hazing)
Eight of the ten are currently enrolled as students at LSU. Gott and Forde are not currently enrolled.
As part of LSU’s review of the culture and environment present on campus, 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.
“We are all in this together,” said Alexander. “Affecting real change requires students, faculty, staff, administration and alumni engagement. I ask that anyone who might have information that would prove useful in our Greek Life Task Force’s efforts to inform a healthier culture for all LSU students to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
If convicted, hazing carries 10-30 days in jail and a mandatory expulsion from the university. LSU may opt to expel students on its own as well before the trial process begins.
Negligent homicide is a felony crime that carries a maximum sentence of five years.
Naquin’s bond amount was set at $10,000.
According to court documents, all of the suspects except Hudson Kirkpatrick had bonded out by Thursday morning.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said he plans to present the entire case to a grand jury.
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