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Arraignment expected for 4 involved in LSU hazing-related death

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BATON ROUGE - The court date for the four men indicted in the hazing death of LSU student Max Gruver has been pushed back.

The arraignments of all four charged in the death of 18-year-old Max Gruver were planned for Thursday morning, but that was delayed till noon due to worries at the downtown library overnight. Construction workers were concerned with the integrity of the building, which is still under construction, after they found a problem with some of the pre-fabricated material used for the building.

Experts say there are no problems with the foundation of the structure, and the neighboring offices and roadways have reopened.

After a crowd of people waited outside the courthouse for the scheduled reopening at noon, Cristina Capello, the staff attorney for Judge Beau Higginbotham, confirmed the arraignments in the LSU case would again be pushed back, this time to Friday.

The state grand jury issued indictments six months after Gruver died following a night of drinking at the Phi Delta Theta house on LSU's campus. Now four students allegedly responsible, face serious charges. Matthew Naquin faces a felony negligent homicide charges punishable by up to five years in prison.

Three others, Sean-Paul Gott, Patrick Forde, and Ryan Isto, face a misdemeanor charge of hazing, which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail. The current laws on hazing are vague and weak in comparison to the Maxwell Gruver Act, which was passed through the Senate last month.

While this new act won't affect the Gruver case, it will affect future ones. Under the new law, anyone involved in hazing activities that lead to someone's death can face up to five years behind bars and have a maximum fine of $10,000.

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