Past Alcohol Use Can Not Be Used in Hazing Trial
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A former Louisiana State University student charged in the alcohol-related hazing death of a fraternity pledge isn't allowed to use the victim's history of alcohol and drug use as evidence.
The Advocate reports the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that evidence of victim Max Gruver's alcohol and drug use from the day of his death is relevant. But they agreed with the state district judge's decision that any prior alcohol usage is inadmissible.
Matthew Naquin's attorney John McLindon filed a motion that quotes fraternity members describing Gruver as a "party animal."
McLindon will ask the Louisiana Supreme Court to review the appellate court's decision.
Texas-native Naquin will stand trial July 8 on negligent homicide in Gruver's 2017 death. Gruver was from Roswell, Georgia.
Laws have been changed in Louisiana to better protect college students. The Max Gruver law was passed last year. It makes hazing a felony, with fines up to $1,000, imprisonment up to six months, or both. The previous fine was $100.
If hazing results in bodily injury, death, or forced alcohol consumption (resulting in a blood alcohol concentration of .30%), those found guilty can face fines up to $10,000, imprisonment for five years, or both.