Broward News

12 Former FAMU Band Members Charged With Manslaughter

Twelve former Florida A&M University band members have been charged with manslaughter in the hazing death of 26-year-old drum major Robert Champion in 2011.

Last May, the band members were charged with felony hazing, but prosecutors announced Monday that they had elevated those charges.

Champion was killed in November 2011 when he was beaten to death during a hazing ritual, prosecutors say.

The incident occurred on a parked bus in a hotel parking lot following Florida A&M's football game against Bethune-Cookman.

Champion reportedly vomited and then collapsed after being beaten and was found to have bruises on his arms, shoulder, chest, and back, according to authorities. The cause of death was internal injuries.

A list filed by prosecutors last May shows almost 85 potential witnesses for the trial.

In July 2012, Florida A&M University President James Ammons resigned after it was revealed that he had ignored administrators' pleas to shut down the FAMU band for hazing practices just days before Champion's tragic death.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph