During a night of fraternity pledge activities in September, 18-year-old freshman Louisiana State University student Maxwell Gruver participated in a hazing activity called “bible study,” consuming alcohol for punishment when he answered a question incorrectly.
The following day he was taken to the hospital and declared dead.
Now, 10 current or former students at LSU have been charged in his death, The New York Times reported. One student, Matthew Alexander Naquin, 19, was charged with negligent homicide.
The arrest warrants paint a despairingly similar story of fraternity hazing — a fraternity pledge event where new recruits are told to drink excessively with fatal consequences.
Gruver’s fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, has an alcohol-free housing policy, according to NBC. Yet on September 13, pledges arrived at the fraternity to compete in activities for pledging.
Gruver was made to play a question and answer game referred to as “Bible study,” where he had to drink from a bottle if he answered a question wrong, The Times reported.
At the time of Gruver’s autopsy, his blood alcohol content was .496 per cent, which is more than six times the legal limit for driving, The Times noted. His cause of death was “acute ethanol intoxication with aspiration,” according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office.
The news of Gruver’s death follows closely behind the high-profile death of Timothy Piazza, who died in February after fraternity hazing at Penn State.
Eight fraternity brothers at Penn State were charged with involuntary manslaughter. All were cleared of the felony charges against them.
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