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Jury selection foul-up changing procedure in hazing death case

3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago Thursday, June 27 2019 Jun 27, 2019 June 27, 2019 9:25 PM June 27, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The jury selection problem identified several months ago led the district attorney to change the method being used to pursue a negligent homicide charge against the former LSU student accused in the 2017 hazing death of fraternity pledge Max Gruver.

Matthew Naquin's attorney, John McLindon, had argued in court motions that the indictment should be dismissed because the software being used to select jurors in East Baton Rouge Parish had a long-term programming mistake that prevented young people and people moving to the parish from becoming part of the potential jury pool.

The jury selection flaw was exposed earlier this year in an unrelated case.

Judge Beau Higginbotham was set to hear arguments Friday on the defense request to throw out the indictment.

Trial is set to begin July 8.

District Attorney Hillar Moore said he will dismiss the grand jury indictment, which came from a group of jurors selected using the flawed method. However, his office filed a bill of information Thursday, charging Naquin with negligent homicide, just as the grand jury had.

A bill of information has the same effect as an indictment but comes directly from the district attorney's office. It is frequently used to bring formal charges, although many district attorneys prefer to have grand juries decide on most murder cases and on controversial ones.

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