All ten suspects in hazing death surrender Wednesday
BATON ROUGE – Over the course of three or four hours Wednesday, ten suspects in a deadly hazing investigation at LSU surrendered and were booked into jail.
All ten face hazing charges and one of the group faces a more serious charge of negligent homicide. Between nine o'clock Wednesday morning and 1 p.m., all ten showed up to LSU Police headquarters where they met with officers, were arrested and transported to the jail.
Arrested were: Matthew Alexander Naquin; Zachary Castillo; Elliott Eaton; Patrick Forde; Sean Paul Gott; Zachary Hall; Ryan Isto; Hudson Kirkpatrick; Sean Pennison; and Nicholas Taulli.
Naquin faces both hazing and negligent homicide charges. In court documents first published by WBRZ.com, authorities describe Naquin as the aggressor. CLICK HERE to read more about the hazing investigation.
Several of those arrested, including Naquin, have been released on bond as of Wednesday evening.
The arrests come after the death of Max Gruver, 18, in September. Gruver was found unresponsive at the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity house and pronounced dead at a hospital later. Investigators said Gruver died after drinking too much during a fraternity ritual involving a quiz over the organization's history.
Gruver's autopsy revealed he had an elevated blood-alcohol level and marijuana in his system, according to the East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office. Wednesday, the coroner official labeled Gruver's death an accident by acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration.
Gruver’s alcohol level was .495 at his time of death. The legal limit to drive in Louisiana is between .02 (under 21) and .08 (21+); experts label someone as potentially having alcohol poisoning when their BAC is between .250 and .399.
After the arrests, LSU President F. King Alexander released the following statement:
Today’s arrests underscore that the ramifications of hazing can be devastating. Maxwell Gruver’s family will mourn his loss for the rest of their lives, and several other students are now facing serious consequences – all due to a series of poor decisions.
We are all in this together. Affecting real change requires students, faculty, staff, administration and alumni engagement. I ask that anyone who might have information that would prove useful in our Greek Life Task Force’s efforts to inform a healthier culture for all LSU students reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The national chapter of Phi Delta Theta also issued a statement Wednesday, condemning the alleged incident that occurred at the LSU chapter's fraternity house.
We fully support local law enforcement in their decision to move forward and file charges against all of those alleged to be involved with the passing of Maxwell Gruver. As we have said from the outset of this tragedy, we want the authorities to prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.
Naquin is from Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, a suburb of San Antonio; Pennison is from Mandeville; Hall is from Charlotte, NC; Isto listed a Baton Rouge address; Easton is from New Orleans; Castillo is from Terrytown, LA; Kirkpatrick also listed a Baton Rouge address; Gott is from Lafayette; Forde is from the Boston area and Taulli is from Cypress, TX.
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