Florida A&M Hazers Charged With Manslaughter

Prosecutors up charges for 10 students in Robert Champion case, charge 2 more

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 4, 2013 2:45 PM CST

(Newser) – Prosecutors are charging 12 former Florida A&M University band members with manslaughter in the 2011 hazing death of a drum major. Ten of the band members had been charged last May with felony hazing for the death of 26-year-old Robert Champion, but prosecutors said today they are raising the charges to manslaughter. They also have charged two additional defendants with manslaughter.

Champion died in Orlando in November 2011 after he collapsed following what prosecutors say was a savage beating during a hazing ritual. It happened on a bus parked in a hotel parking lot after Florida A&M played Bethune-Cookman in their annual rivalry football game. Authorities say Champion had bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder, and back, and died of internal bleeding.

In this Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, Florida A&M Marching 100 Drum Major Robert Champion performs during a halftime show.
In this Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, Florida A&M Marching 100 Drum Major Robert Champion performs during a halftime show.   (AP Photo/Don Juan Moore)
In this Sept. 26, 2009 file photo, the Florida A&M marching band members performs during a half time show.
In this Sept. 26, 2009 file photo, the Florida A&M marching band members performs during a half time show.   (AP Photo/The Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Jason Getz, File)
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