Frat Pledge Had BAC of 0.495 When He Died. Now 10 Arrested

12 Oct 2017

(Newser) – Ten people were arrested Wednesday on hazing charges in the death of a Louisiana State University fraternity pledge after a night of drinking, the AP reports. One of the 10 suspects—Matthew Naquin, 19—also faces a negligent homicide charge in the death last month of 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver, LSU said in a statement. An autopsy showed Gruver's blood-alcohol content level at the time of his death was 0.495, which is more than six times the legal limit for driving, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau Clark said Wednesday. Eight of the suspects are LSU students and were active members of the fraternity, according to university spokesman Ernie Ballard. The hazing charges against all 10 suspects, whose ages range from 18 to 21, are misdemeanors.

Gruver died Sept. 14 after Phi Delta Theta members found him lying on a couch at the fraternity house and couldn't tell if he was breathing, police said. Clark concluded Gruver died of acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration. The autopsy found Gruver inhaled vomit and other fluid into his lungs, said Clark. He ruled the death an accident. Witnesses told police that the fraternity's pledges were forced to drink to excess on the night before Gruver's death, during a game or initiation ritual called "Bible Study" that required pledges to drink if they incorrectly answered questions about the fraternity. A witness told police that Gruver was "highly intoxicated" when fraternity members laid him on a couch and left the house. The fraternity's national office said it closed the chapter after Gruver's death.

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