Defense can use Max Gruver's alleged substance abuse in LSU hazing case, Louisiana Supreme Court says
BATON ROUGE - The Advocate reports that Matthew Naquin's attorneys have successfully appealed an earlier ruling preventing them from presenting allegations of Maxwell Gruver's substance abuse in the weeks prior to his death by alcohol poisoning during what authorities describe as a "hazing ritual."
Naquin, 21-years-old of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, is facing negligent homicide charges over the incident.
Jury selection for the trial is set to begin on Monday. The defense team had asked to be allowed to present evidence of Gruver's excessive drinking and marijuana use, citing statements from then-fraternity members as evidence, but an appeals court ruled that such allegations could only be used as they relate to substance abuse on the day of Gruver's death. Any statements from the weeks prior would be inadmissible.
But on Saturday, the Louisiana State Supreme Court overruled that decision.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore says that he respects the courts decision, though he does not agree with it.
“Any allegations about Max’s use of alcohol over a thirty-day period when he was an 18-year-old incoming freshman, away from home, pledging a fraternity are irrelevant to what happened to Max Gruver on the night/morning when he was being hazed which lead to his death,” Moore said.