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Search warrant in LSU student's death says pledges were forced to drink

10 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Tuesday, October 03 2017 Oct 3, 2017 October 03, 2017 12:30 PM October 03, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Search warrants filed in the investigation into possible hazing that left an 18-year-old LSU student dead indicate that pledges may have been forced to drink alcohol during what was called "Bible Study" in group text messages.

The warrants were for the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house and for the phone and dorm room of Max Gruver, the student who died. They were conducted on the day Gruver died and the following days.

Text messages indicate that pledges were told to attend "Bible Study" at 10 p.m. on Sept. 13, according to a search warrant affidavit. Investigators learned from witnesses that the meeting was actually an exchange in which members asked pledges questions about the organization and were ordered to drink alcohol if they answered incorrectly, the affidavit said.

"Several other interviews conducted by LSU Police Criminal Investigators indicated that the pledges were forced to drink in excess," the affidavit said.

A group of pledges and members, including Gruver, were at the fraternity house drinking liquor. Gruver, who was described as being "highly intoxicated," was left on a couch at the house for the night.

The next morning, someone checked on him around 11 a.m. and found that his pulse was weak and they couldn't tell if Gruver was breathing.

The search of the fraternity house yielded video recording equipment and "multiple bottles of hard liquor," according to the warrant.

The recording equipment was seized because it “may have video footage of inside the house during the times of the events,” the warrant said.

An LSU spokesperson released the following statement Tuesday afternoon: 

"The case is still an active investigation by LSU Police at this time. In order to allow the investigation to proceed as effectively as possible, LSU will not be providing further updates until completion."

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