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Hearing set for suspect in hazing death of Max Gruver

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BATON ROUGE - Nearly one year has passed since the 2017 hazing-related death of LSU student Max Gruver. In that case, four Phi Delta Theta fraternity members were indicted with one facing a felony charge of negligent homicide.

A hearing was held for all four charged in alleged hazing incident Monday morning. Ryan Isto, Sean Gott, Patrick Forde and Matthew Naquin were all due in court for their involvement. 

Last week, a judge signed a motion waiving Naquin's need to appear in person. Both he and Forde were represented by legal counsel.

Affidavits filed after Gruver's death say Naquin was "the most aggressive by far" at a chapter hazing event dubbed "Bible Study" where pledges had to answer questions about the fraternity's history. If they answered a question wrong, the pledges were forced to drink hard liquor.

The judge asked for portions of the testimonies to be revealed due to inconsistencies in some of the defendants' answers. The state will also be filing a motion compelling Gott to turn over the passcode to access his phone.

Naquin, Isto and Gott are due to appear in court for another hearing on Sept. 6. A trial for Isto and Gott, originally scheduled for next month, has been moved to Dec. 4.


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