Judge to Allow Evidence of Previous Hazing Behavior in Max Gruver Case
A judge will allow evidence of previous hazing behavior in the trial of two former LSU students, Sean-Paul Gott and Ryan Isto, who were some of those allegedly responsible for Maxwell Gruver’s hazing death.
Legal Analyst Tim Meche says its powerful evidence that could sway a jury but says using that kind of evidence could backfire.
“The prosecution runs a serious risk that a court of appeal will reverse the case if they are allowed to present that evidence.”
22-year-old Gott and 19-year-old Isto have been charged with misdemeanor hazing. Another former student, 21-year-old Andrew Forde is also facing hazing charges, with a fourth, 20-year-old Matthew Naquin, facing charges of Negligent Homicide.
Meche says while the evidence could be damning come court time, it could be used by a skillful defense attorney to get an upper hand in jury selection.
“Screen the jurists to determine if they will hold that against the defendant, so it gives a tool to the defense that they did not have previously.”
At the moment the two’s trial is set for December 4th, but Meche says don’t hold your breath because further revelations like these could end up pushing that further back.
“You need to watch to see if people will plead guilty, if there will be additional filings, there may be some filings in the court of appeal which will offset the trial.”
Court papers revealed yesterday have revealed that two students were allegedly involved in a similar incident September 6th that left another pledge violently ill. Gruver died September 14th.