- East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office
During a night of fraternity pledge activities in September, Maxwell Gruver, an 18-year-old freshman at Louisiana State University, participated in a hazing activity in which he had to drink alcohol when he answered a question incorrectly, The New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing arrest warrants.
The following day, he was taken to the hospital and declared dead.
Ten current or former students at LSU have now been charged in his death, The Times reported on Wednesday. One student, Matthew Alexander Naquin, 19, was charged with negligent homicide.
The arrest warrants detail yet another story of fraternity hazing in which a pledge event where new recruits are told to drink excessively has fatal consequences.
Gruver’s fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, has an alcohol-free-housing policy, NBC News reported. On September 13, however, pledges arrived to compete in alcohol-related activities.
Gruver was made to play a question-and-answer game referred to as “bible study” in which he had to drink from a bottle if he answered a question wrong, The Times reported, citing an arrest warrant.
At the time of Gruver’s autopsy, his blood alcohol content was .496 percent, which is more than six times the legal limit for driving, The Times noted. His cause of death was “acute ethanol intoxication with aspiration,” The Times reported, citing the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office.
The news of Gruver’s death follows the high-profile death in February of Timothy Piazza, who had participated in a fraternity hazing event at Penn State.
Eight fraternity brothers at Penn State were charged with involuntary manslaughter. All were cleared of the felony charges against them.