‘Let the victim shaming begin’: Gruver family responds to ‘party animal’ allegations by defense

“The hazers actions killed my son. Not his behavior prior.”

‘Let the victim shaming begin’: Gruver family responds to ‘party animal’ allegations by defense

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The family of LSU pledge Maxwell Gruver have responded to allegations that his prior habits "certainly" negate the charges of negligent homicide on Matt Naquin's part.

“Let the victim shaming begin,” a post from Gruver’s parents on Facebook reads.

The post came shortly after the defense for Naquin filed a motion to include witness statements collected by several investigating agencies that alleged Gruver drank alcohol and smoked marijuana excessively in the month he lived on LSU’s campus.

The family says they’ve been pressured for weeks with “heresay information” in hopes they would make a deal to lessen the charge against Naquin to hazing.

"Threatening us because they are scared and want to try and make Max look bad after their client killed our son in a hazing ritual," the family writes. "Well, we will not back down. We will not be threatened."

“Reach out to the district attorney’s office and ask them if they think anything I did was threatening,” Naquin’s attorney John McLindon said. “I’m confident they’ll tell you it’s not.”

Naquin is currently facing a negligent homicide for his role in an ill-fated hazing ritual that resulted in the death of the Phi Delta Theta pledge. Gruver died of alcohol poisoning after "Bible study," a hazing ritual that required pledges to drink alcohol if they wrongly answered questions about the fraternity.

Gruver's blood-alcohol level at the time of his death was 0.495 percent - nearly six times the legal limit to drive in Louisiana.

"Max was a great kid and he didn’t deserve to die by being forced to drink 190 proof grain alcohol while being HAZED! His blood alcohol speaks volumes," the family writes. "Over a .495 the night he died! You can’t physically do that on your own unless you are being forced."

Lead defense attorney for Naquin, John McLindon, cited witness statements that "Max was always the one to get most drunk."

The post concludes by saying the hazers’ actions killed Gruver, “Not his behavior prior.”

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