Matthew Naquin Bonds Out After Negligent Homicide Conviction
Former LSU student Matthew Naquin has bonded out of jail following his conviction for negligent homicide in the alcohol-related hazing death of 18-year-old fraternity pledge Max Gruver. Naquin will be sentenced in October and he faces up to five years in prison. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore has confidence Judge Beau Higginbotham will make the right call when it comes to sentencing.
“I have no ill will against this defendant, he’s got a fine family, well-educated young man,” said Moore. “You have to deal with the facts that we have and we’ll let the judge make that decision.”
After sentencing, Naquin’s attorney, John McLindon plans to appeal the conviction. McLindon says he’s shocked by the outcome considering how many other people were involved, yet his client was the only person facing a felony charge.
“I think when all of the boys were interviewed the next day and they said who was in charge, they all said Matthew was the loudest and he was, he was very loud, but that doesn’t mean he forced alcohol into anybody and it doesn’t mean he gave any more alcohol than anybody else,” said McLindon.
McLindon can’t believe he lost this case, because Naquin shouldn’t be the sole scapegoat for Gruver’s death.
“This is so bad, this is so unfair…I’m sick to my stomach,” said McLindon.
The 21-year-old Naquin faces anywhere from probation to five years in prison for the killing, when he is sentenced October 16.
The mother of Gruver calls Naquin’s conviction justice. Gruver had a blood-alcohol level of 0.495-percent after a night of heavy drinking in 2017. Rae Ann Gruver and her husband Stephen helped pass new anti-hazing laws last year.
“Hazing needs to end, hazing kills, hazing seriously injures people both psychologically and physically, so Max’s story is what we use to hopefully change peoples minds that it needs to end, said Rae Ann Gruver.
Former LSU fraternity member Matthew Naquin has been convicted of Negligent Homicide in the hazing death of Maxwell Gruver in 2017. The prosecution says Naquin was primarily responsible for the death and was the ringleader of the hazing incident where Gruver was pressured into drinking himself to death.
Earlier in the trial, other members of the fraternity spoke out against Naquin, saying he had a vendetta against Gruver, and wanted him out of the organization. Gruver was found dead the morning after the hazing incident with a blood alcohol content of .495, six times the legal limit.
The Defense says Gruver’s death was no one’s fault and attempted to say Gruver had a history of using drugs and drinking.
The 21-year-old Naquin faces anywhere from five years in prison, to probation for the killing. He’s also been charged with Obstruction of Justice for deleting hundreds of files and texts from his cell phone before turning the device over to authorities.
The incident resulted in the banning of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity from campus until at least 2033, and the passage of a much harsher set of felony level hazing penalties.