Breaking News
More () »

Ex-LSU student and fraternity member guilty in 2017 drinking death of pledge Max Gruver

The jury deliberated for about an hour, before coming back with the verdict. The closing arguments ended Wednesday morning.

A jury found former LSU student and fraternity member Matthew Naquin guilty of negligent homicide in the death of Phi Delta Theta pledge Max Gruver in 2017, according to WBRZ, who is at the courtroom.

Gruver died of alcohol poisoning at a fraternity event.

The jury deliberated for only 30 minutes, before coming back with the verdict. The closing arguments ended Wednesday morning. He will be sentenced on October 16.

"The goal here is stop hazing of any sort, but definitely to stop hazing that leads to death," East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said outside the courtroom Wednesday. 

"There were so many moving parts to this, you had so many boys up there distributing alcohol, not just Matthew, lots of boys were up there doing it," said Naquin's attorney John Mclindon. "Max went up there of his own free will. He didn't have to be there. He could have left at any time."

On Tuesday, there was blockbuster testimony from a toxicologist who testified that Gruver was a "dead man walking" after chugging liquor during a hazing event.

The Advocate reports that Dr. Patricia Williams told the court Tuesday there was no way Max Gruver's 19-year-old body could have survived that level of intoxication. Gruver had a blood-alcohol level of more than six times the legal driving limit when he died in 2017 after a Phi Delta Theta event called "Bible study."

FBI investigators testified that Naquin deleted nearly 700 files from his cellphone after authorities told his lawyer they had a warrant. Prosecutors say there's no evidence suggesting any wrongdoing on the lawyer's part.

Before You Leave, Check This Out