Nearly two years after the death of LSU student Maxwell Gruver, a jury in Baton Rouge found Matthew Naquin guilty of negligent homicide Wednesday.
Gruver, of Roswell, GA, was beginning his first year at LSU and pledging the Phi Delta Theta fraternity when he died of alcohol poisoning stemming from a hazing ritual. Gruver’s blood alcohol content was 0.495%, well over the Louisiana’s legal driving limit of 0.08%.
Prosecutors claimed Matthew Naquin, a former member of the fraternity, was the primary culprit, ordering Gruver and the other pledges to drink excessively.
The six-person jury agreed and handed down a guilty verdict after less than an hour of deliberation.
Naquin, of Fair Oaks Ranch, TX, will be sentenced in October. His punishment ranges from probation to five years in prison.
He also faces obstruction of justice charges, after allegedly deleting information from his phone, hindering the investigation. That case is ongoing.
Phi Delta Theta has been banned from the LSU campus until 2033 for violating campus hazing policies.
Following the verdict, Gruver’s parents, Rae Ann and Stephen, said hazing cannot be tolerated.
“It’s dangerous and we have to all work together to bring an end to hazing,” Stephen Gruver said.
Following their son’s death, the Gruvers worked with lawmakers in Louisiana to pass legislation that strengthened penalties for hazing in the state.