10 charged after LSU freshman from Roswell dies with .495% alcohol level

Ten people were charged Wednesday for their alleged roles in a hazing incident at Louisiana State University that killed a freshman from Roswell, the University said.

Max Gruver had an alcohol level of .495 percent — more than six times the legal limit for drivers —  at the time of his death, the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office said Wednesday. Gruver, 18, died Sept. 14 after a suspected hazing incident at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house, according to investigators.

On Wednesday, the Coroner’s Office said an autopsy determined Gruver died from acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration.

Preliminary tests showed a highly elevated alcohol level, and Gruver also had THC — the chemical found in marijuana — in his urine. LSU President F. King Alexander suspended all Greek activities after Gruver's death. The fraternity's national headquarters also suspended the LSU chapter.

LSU said Wednesday arrest warrants had been issued, charging 10 — eight current and two former— students with hazing. One student, Matthew Alexander Naquin, was also charged with negligent homicide, the University said. Gruver’s family was informed of the investigation findings and charges.

“Today’s arrests underscore that the ramifications of hazing can be devastating,” Alexander said Wednesday in an emailed statement. “Maxwell Gruver’s family will mourn his loss for the rest of their lives, and several other students are now facing serious consequences – all due to a series of poor decisions.”

Gruver was a 2017 graduate of Blessed Trinity High School and planned to study journalism at LSU. He loved sports and helped coach younger children, including his sister’s basketball team, according to his family.

“Max was very lovable. He cared a lot about people,” Eugene Gruver, Max’s grandfather, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the day after his death. “He was bright, he was intelligent. He was so talented. He knew all about sports.”

Read more about the charges the current and former students face, and the impact the case could have on campus culture at myAJC.com.