Louisiana State University police have arrested 10 students who belonged to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, after an investigation showed that freshman pledge Maxwell Gruver had died after a night of playing a drinking game last month. The charges range from hazing to homicide.
Last week, police investigators said they found Gruver had died after a bout of playing a game fraternity members called Bible Study — in which pledges are quizzed about the fraternity and are ordered to drink if they give the wrong answers.
Ten students are charged with hazing; one, Matthew Alexander Naquin, is also facing a charge of negligent homicide.
The other nine students are: Zachary Castillo, Elliott Eaton, Patrick Forde, Sean Paul Gott, Zachary Hall, Ryan Isto, Hudson Kirkpatrick, Sean Pennison and Nicholas Taulli.
In an earlier report about the Gruver inquiry, student newspaper The Reveille relayed a police account of events on the night of Wednesday, Sept. 13, when Gruver allegedly played the Bible Study game.
Witnesses said they “noticed Gruver was highly intoxicated at some point after midnight and laid him on the couch before leaving for the night,” according to the Reveille. After Gruver was found to be still on the couch the next morning, he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Some of the findings from Gruver’s autopsy were released Wednesday; The Reveille reports that East Baton Rouge Coroner William “Beau” Clark “confirmed Gruver’s death was accidental, and the result of acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration. Clark said Gruver’s alcohol level was .495 at the time of his death.”
In announcing Wednesday’s arrests, L.S.U. 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 national Phi Delta Theta organization removed the charter of the L.S.U. chapter on Sept. 18, after its inquiry into Gruver’s death “uncovered enough information to conclude that some chapter members were in violation of established risk management policies, including our Alcohol Free Housing policy.”Share