A former band leader at Florida A&M University will have to serve the next six years of his life in prison for the hazing death of a fellow band member. Dante Martin, 27, and 15 other FAMU band members were charged for the death of Robert Champion while hazing him in 2011.
Prosecutors said Martin was the ringleader of the attack that took Champion’s life. Initially, the D.A. asked that Martin be sentenced to 9 years in prison. However, after several people spoke on Martin’s behalf, the judge believed Martin deserved a second chance at life.
Another band member, Jessie Baskin, was sentenced to 51 weeks in jail for his role in the brutal attack. Other members were given probation or community service for participating in the beating death.
For decades, it has been a ritual for college band members to haze other members who are newcomers or commit violations. Since Champion’s death, FAMU and other colleges nationwide have implemented a strict ban on hazing.