Ten Arrested In LSU Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Hazing Death

Aaron Brown
October 12, 2017

Court records indicate Gruver was engaged in what the fraternity called "Bible Study" - a game in which pledges continuously drink alcohol if they err in answering trivia questions about the fraternity.

At the time of his death, Gruver's blood alcohol level was 0.495, Coroner William "Beau" Clark said.

Last month, LSU President F. King Alexander said that the 18-year-old's death is being investigated as a "potential hazing incident". In Louisiana, anyone under 21 with a blood alcohol level of 0.02% or above is considered intoxicated.

An attorney for one of 10 people facing hazing charges in the death of a Louisiana State University fraternity pledge says his client didn't participate in hazing or provide anyone with alcohol on the night before the 18-year-old died.

The 10 men, between 19 and 21, were all charged with hazing, a misdemeanor that would require expulsion from school and is punishable by up to 30 days in prison. One faces an additional charge of negligent homicide.

Matthew Alexander Naquin, 19. was hit with the most serious charge - negligent homicide, the LSU Police Department said in a statement. After Gruver was found to be still on the couch the next morning, he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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Eight of the suspects are LSU students and were active members of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, university spokesman Ernie Ballard says.

In announcing Wednesday's arrests, LSU issued a statement saying, "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 autopsy found Gruver inhaled vomit and other fluid into his lungs, Clark says.

The death has unfolded in the midst of an increased scrutiny on drinking behavior and fraternity culture on college campuses that has been prompted by a few high-profile hazing deaths.

Gruver died at a hospital on September 14 after Phi Delta Theta members found him lying on a couch at the fraternity house and couldn't tell if he was breathing.

Witnesses told police that the fraternity's pledges were forced to drink to excess the night before Gruver's death.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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