LSU police to charge ten people in death of fraternity pledge

LSU police to charge ten people in death of fraternity pledge

Gruver's death has been ruled an accident.

Last week, police investigators said they found Gruver had died after playing a game that fraternity members called Bible Study, in which pledges are quizzed about the fraternity and are ordered to drink if they give the wrong answers.

A freshman fraternity pledge at Louisiana State University who died last month was intoxicated six times over the state's legal limit, a medical examiner said Wednesday.

Nearly all of the suspects identified by LSU - a group that includes eight current students and mostly active frat members - will be booked on the misdemeanor charge of hazing. One faces an additional charge of negligent homicide.

One suspect, Matthew Naquin, is charged with negligent homicide, which could carry a five-year prison sentence.

The East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office said student Maxwell Gruver had a blood alcohol level of.495 at the time of his death.

Gruver died at a hospital after Phi Delta Theta members found him lying on a couch at the fraternity house and couldn't tell if he was breathing.

"The LSU Police Department has communicated with the Gruver family throughout the investigation process, and the university has also been in touch with them regarding today's arrests", Ballard said Wednesday in a statement.

Gruver and other Phi Delta Theta pledges received a group text message September 13 that "Bible Study" would take place that night at 10 p.m.at the chapter house, an exercise where pledges were asked questions about the fraternity and forced to drink if they answered incorrectly, according to an LSU Police search warrant filed in court last week.

The death has unfolded in the midst of an increased scrutiny on drinking behavior and fraternity culture on college campuses that has been prompted by a few high-profile hazing deaths.

A coroner said hospital tests found a "highly elevated" blood-alcohol level in Gruver's body. According to a report in the school's student newspaper, The Daily Reveille, the chapter had been suspended a year earlier as the university investigated a previous complaint about hazing.

LSU police said that several other interviews of witnesses "indicated that the pledges were forced to drink in excess".

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