Louisiana State University police have arrested 10 students who belonged to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity after an investigation showed that freshman pledge Maxwell Gruver had died last month after a night of playing a drinking game. But one student, 19-year-old Matthew Alexander Naquin, also faces a count of negligent homicide, which is a felony, as well as the hazing count.
The exact circumstances surrounding Gruver's death are unclear.
Gruver and other Phi Delta Theta pledges received a group text message September 13 that "Bible Study" would take place that night at 10 p.m.at the chapter house, an exercise where pledges were asked questions about the fraternity and forced to drink if they answered incorrectly, according to an LSU Police search warrant filed in court last week.
LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard says eight of the suspects are LSU students.
"The meeting was actually an exchange in which members asked pledges questions about the organization and were ordered to drink alcohol if they answered incorrectly", investigators said in an affidavit, WBRZ-TV reported.
Witnesses told police that the fraternity's pledges were forced to drink to excess the night before Gruver's death. The manner of death was ruled an accident.
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The Supreme Court put the plan on hold past year following legal challenges by industry and coal-friendly states. For the timeline, states had until 2016 to submit initial plans with the possibility of an extension until 2018.
Some of the findings from Gruver's autopsy were released Wednesday; The Reveille reports that East Baton Rouge Coroner William "Beau" Clark "confirmed Gruver's death was accidental, and the result of acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration".
All 10 turned themselves into LSU Police after warrants were issued for their arrests.
"As we've continually warned over and over again, hazing is unsafe, irresponsible, and unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated at LSU period", Alexander said then.
The fraternity said it will also review its health and safety policies and educational programs, and "is committed to enacting any new initiatives to help prevent similar situations in the future". The house is located on the university campus, a spokesman said.
The arrests are expected to be made by the LSU Police Department.
LSU has also said it will form a Greek life task force to take "an exhaustive look at past and current practices of Greek life, as well as other LSU student organizations, to address concerns about student safety".