A former Louisiana State University student was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for his role in the alcohol-related hazing death of a freshman from Roswell, but a judge suspended all but 2½ years of the term, according to local media reports.
Matthew Naquin was also sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service, three years of probation when released and he must pay a $1,000 fine, The Advocate reported.
Naquin, 21, of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, was convicted in July of negligent homicide in the September 2017 death of Max Gruver.
Gruver, 18, died after a hazing incident at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house, according to investigators. He had an alcohol level of .495% — more than six times the legal limit for drivers — at the time of his death, the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office previously said.
LSU President F. King Alexander temporarily suspended all Greek activities after Gruver’s death. The fraternity’s national headquarters also suspended the LSU chapter.
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.”
Prosecutors placed the bulk of the blame for Gruver’s death on Naquin. At trial, they told the jury Naquin ripped up Gruver's bid card and made it his personal mission to keep Gruver out of the fraternity, the Advocate previously reported. During the ritual, when Gruver answered questions about the fraternity incorrectly, prosecutors said Naquin forced him to drink.
In July, two other former LSU students were each sentenced to a month in jail for their roles in Gruver’s death.
Sean-Paul Gott, 22, of Lafayette, Louisiana, and Ryan Matthew Isto, 20, of Butte, Montana, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor hazing charges.
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