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Former LSU student gets 5 years for the hazing death of a fraternity pledge

A Louisiana State University student is dead after what school officials are calling a "potential hazing incident," according to the coroner's office.

Posted: Nov 20, 2019 11:40 PM
Updated: Nov 20, 2019 11:40 PM

A former Louisiana State University student was sentenced to five years in prison in the 2017 hazing death of 18-year-old fraternity pledge Maxwell Gruver, a court official told CNN.

Matthew Naquin, 21, who was found guilty of negligent homicide earlier this year, will likely serve only two and a half years because the judge suspended half of his sentence.

Naquin was also ordered to 1,000 hours of community service, a $1,000 fine and three years of probation. Additionally, he must write a letter of apology to Gruver's family and speak at different high schools about the dangers of hazing for each year of his probation.

Gruver died on September 14, 2017, after an alcohol-related hazing ritual while pledging Phi Delta Theta.

The night before Gruver died, he was called to the fraternity house to participate in "Bible Study," according to interviews conducted by LSU police. Fraternity members asked pledges questions about the fraternity, and pledges were forced to drink alcohol if they answered incorrectly.

Gruver became highly intoxicated, and fraternity members laid him down on a couch in the frat house where they checked on him periodically until 3 a.m., according to witnesses. By 9 a.m. the next morning, his pulse was weak and members couldn't tell whether he was breathing. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead shortly after.

Prosecutors said Naquin was primarily responsible for Gruver's death. Three other students were indicted in 2018 on charges stemming from the incident, and The Advocate reported in July that two of them had been sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Naquin's lawyer continued to maintain his innocence after the jury's verdict, saying his client was not the only person distributing alcohol.

"To pin this all on one guy was just really unfair," attorney John McLindon said in July after Naquin was convicted. "Max (was) there of his own free will -- he could have left at anytime."

The district attorney and Gruver's family said they were unsettled that Naquin had not accepted responsibility.

Naquin offered condolences Wednesday and called hazing "bad" and "dangerous," CNN affiliate WBRZ reported.

"We are troubled by the one condition that this person who is convicted of hazing, who has not accepted an ounce of responsibility, in fact has deflected every part of responsibility, that he be the messenger and poster child to speak to others about hazing," East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said after the sentencing.

"In his statement, there is still no remorse. He does not take any accountability for killing our son," Rae Ann Gruver, Maxwell's mom, said after Wednesday's proceedings.

CNN reached out to LSU for comment but the school did not immediately respond.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 813481

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1139971910
Mobile722271323
Madison51970686
Shelby37279341
Baldwin37069540
Tuscaloosa34934599
Montgomery33953725
Lee23142240
Calhoun22142470
Morgan20639372
Etowah19758496
Marshall18245300
Houston17302405
St. Clair15912337
Cullman15306290
Limestone15202198
Elmore15075284
Lauderdale14143294
Talladega13715272
DeKalb12569259
Walker11085366
Blount10094174
Autauga9893146
Jackson9789180
Coffee9182189
Dale8859181
Colbert8789200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6732127
Covington6682179
Chilton6587160
Russell625958
Franklin5930105
Chambers5559142
Marion4955126
Dallas4882199
Clarke472782
Pike4719105
Geneva4564126
Winston4473101
Lawrence4264117
Bibb421686
Barbour355475
Marengo334089
Monroe330262
Randolph327063
Butler324794
Pickens313882
Henry310965
Hale309187
Cherokee299957
Fayette290679
Washington250951
Cleburne246958
Crenshaw243575
Clay240367
Macon230562
Lamar215846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178538
Lowndes173761
Wilcox167438
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131038
Greene125544
Choctaw86927
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A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
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