Charges Upgraded to Manslaughter in the 2011 Death of FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion

famu-marchingProsecutors have upgraded charges against 10 individuals to manslaughter in the death of Robert Champion, a drum major for the Marching 100 band at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. Authorities say that Champion was killed as the result of a hazing incident in the fall of 2011. The 10 defendants had previously been charged with third-degree felony hazing.

Two additional individuals, who had not been arrested previously, were also charged with manslaughter. The second-degree manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. The maximum penalty for felony hazing is five years in prison.

According to law enforcement officials, at the Florida Class football game in November 2011, Champion ran a gauntlet from the front of a charter bus to the back while being beaten by members of the Marching 100 band as part of the hazing ritual. He suffered multiple internal injuries and died.

The trial is not expected to start before August at the earliest.

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