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District Attorney Hillar Moore III, right, leaves the courthouse with Max Gruver's parents Rae Ann Gruver, left, and Stephen Gruver, center. Principals in the Max Gruver case were in the 19th JDC Thursday Sept. 6, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La.

After the defense lawyer for a former LSU student accused in the hazing death of Max Gruver described Gruver in court filings as an out-of-control freshman who drank and smoked marijuana to excess, Gruver's parents have called the move "an old, tired tactic" of victim blaming.

John McLindon, an attorney for former LSU student Matthew Naquin, filed a motion Tuesday that quotes fraternity members who described Gruver as a “party animal” who consumed alcohol and used marijuana on a daily basis in the month he was on the school's campus and showed up “high” to the ill-fated hazing ritual.

Gruver's parents called the filing an attempt to deflect attention away from the hazing ritual and the role played by Naquin in their son's death.

Gruver, of Roswell, Georgia, died Sept. 14, 2017, of alcohol poisoning following a hazing ritual dubbed “Bible study,” in which Phi Delta Theta pledges were required to chug hard liquor if they gave incorrect answers to questions about the fraternity.


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“Like so many other times over the past decades, a fraternity member has sought to evade responsibility for killing a fine young man by blaming the victim. This is not new. Time and again fraternities hurt and kill others by hazing and try to push the blame elsewhere. No more,” the Gruvers said in a written statement.

“This motion is nothing but a cruel ploy to harm Max’s reputation for the benefit of those responsible for his death. Mr. Naquin’s defense attempted to silence our family with the threat of this motion — however, we know who our son was and have no fear of the truth,” they added, saying further that Max would be alive today “were it not for the hazing and actions of people who were supposed to be his brothers.”

Read the full statement from the Gruvers here.