Former LSU frat member to be sentenced in Max Gruvers hazing death Wednesday morning
BATON ROUGE – On Tuesday morning, we’ll learn the fate of former LSU fraternity member Matthew Naquin.
He'll be sentenced for negligent homicide in the hazing death of Max Gruver, the freshman student who died from alcohol poisoning and choking on his own vomit following a hazing ritual at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house in September of 2017.
Naquin is accused of forcing Gruver to drink that night. He was convicted of negligent homicide in July this year. Since then, he's been awaiting his sentencing which is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
“The judge has a difficult case in front of him because this is rather unprecedented,” LSU professor of law Ken Levy said.
Levy said that this is a unique case because it's not common for one person to be held accountable for a hazing-related death.
“It's also very rare for people to be prosecuted, usually students, for hazing. So to have somebody die and somebody be prosecuted for homicide, this is extremely rare,” Levy said.
But Levy said that Naquin getting the maximum sentence would be even more shocking to him.
“I wouldn't be surprised if he got no more than a year or two in jail. The maximum is five, the minimum is probation,” Ken Levy said.
Regardless of the sentence, the tragic death of Gruver has made a dramatic impact on the state of Louisiana, and especially state law.
"After this incident, the legislature dramatically revised the statute and stiffened the punishment, the penalties,” Ken Levy said.
Ultimately, Levy said the severity of the sentencing depends on if the judge wants to set an example with this case.
Levy also said that if Naquin is given prison time that he could be taken into custody immediately.
Naquin is still awaiting the date of a separate trial for obstruction of justice after he deleted evidence off his phone following a search warrant for that information.