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12 FAMU band members charged with murder

Twelve former band members now face charges of manslaughter in the 2011 death of drum major Robert Champion. State Attorney Jeff Ashton also filed charges against two more band members.

The new charges were announced at a hearing Monday. Last spring, 10 band members were charged with third-degree felony hazing. If convicted, each will result in a prison term of up to six years with the additional charges adding up to 15 years in prison.

Champion’s parents, Pamela and Robert Champion Sr., have sued the school and other parties.

Champion, 26, died in November 2011 after a hazing conducted by band members in Orlando, Fla. It happened on a bus parked in a hotel parking lot after Florida A&M played Bethune-Cookman in their annual rivalry football game.

His death revealed a culture of hazing in the band, which has played at Super Bowls and presidential inaugurations. The band was suspended for this year.

1 Comment

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