Thirteen Indicted in Hazing Death of Florida A&M University Drum Major Robert Champion Jr.

Prosecutors have filed felony hazing charges against 11 people and felony misdemeanor charges were filed against two additional people in the death of Robert Champion Jr., a drum major for the Marching 100 Band at Florida A&M University. Champion died after he allegedly been beaten in a hazing incident aboard the band’s bus after performing in the halftime show of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Classic football game on November 19. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told the press, “the victim reportedly threw up in the parking lot and started complaining of not being able to breathe. Friends of the victim called 911 and administered CPR. The victim was transported to Doctor Phillips Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.”

According to the autopsy report, Champion died from heart failure and hemorrhagic shock due to internal bleeding within an hour of being the victim of a hazing incident. The report said that Champion suffered “multiple blunt trauma blows to his body.”

The authorities said they were unable to charge anyone with second-degree murder or manslaughter charges because no one blow could be identified as being fatal to Champion.

Police are releasing the names of those charged only after they have been apprehended. Of the first two people arrested, one was drum major and the other a percussionist.

Those facing felony hazing charges face prison terms of up to six years if convicted.

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  1. It is right and proper that justice is seen to be done by Robert Champion Jr’s parents and loved ones. What a tragic waste of life, at the prime of Robert’s life! It was caused by an age old barbaric custom that is very entrenched in the culture of some higher learning institutions.
    It will take the inevitable imprisonment of all thirteen individuals concerned for the perpetrators of hazing to be sent a clear and unambiguous message that this mindless and sickening violent practice must stop.
    Sadly, hazing will not come to an end, immediately, because too many males in particular, enjoy a macabre and ghoulish sense of pleasure by inflicting deathly and beastly pain on others.
    In addition, to the likely mass imprisonment of the thirteen young men concerned, there must be a full scale investigation, nationwide, of the location, frequency and intensity of hazing. No stones should be left untouched.
    May the death of Robert Champion Jr. be the start of the death knell of hazing. And may that vicious and heinous practice be buried in his grave, forever!

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