Four enter not guilty pleas in case of LSU hazing death
BATON ROUGE- Four former LSU students pleaded not guilty Friday in the alcohol-related death of 18-year-old Phi Delta Theta fraternity pledge Maxwell Gruver.
Matthew Alexander Naquin, 20, faces a negligent homicide charge, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Three others Sean-Paul Gott, Patrick Andrew Forde, and Ryan Isto were indicted by a grand jury last month in the alleged hazing death of Gruver on September 14.
Gott, Forde, and Isto pleaded not guilty to hazing, which carries up to 30 days in jail. According to the Advocate, State District Court Judge Beau Higginbotham set a September 6 trial date for Gott, Forde and Isto and a motions hearing on the same date for Naquin.
The Gruver family released the following statement Friday:
"As we continue to celebrate the life of our beloved son Max and mourn the tragedy of his passing, we are extremely disappointed in this morning’s news from Baton Rouge and the lack of accountability displayed today. Despite our frustration, we fiercely believe that justice for Max will be achieved and we continue to fight for the necessary changes to prevent devastating tragedies such as this."