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Thread: FL-Orange County Sheriff: Hazing involved in FAMU student's death

  1. #51
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    Sheriff: Charges coming in Fla. hazing death

    http://www.centurylink.net/news/read...org%3E&ps=1011

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — At least five people will face criminal charges in the hazing death of a Florida A&M University drum major aboard a band bus in Orlando last fall, authorities said Tuesday.

    Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings told The Associated Press that multiple defendants will be charged in 26-year-old Robert Champion's death, although he refused to say what the charges are.

    Prosecutors have built five cases against defendants with charges ranging from misdemeanors to felony charges, said Danielle Tavernier, a spokeswoman for the State Attorney's Office in Orlando. She refused to specify the charges pending an announcement by prosecutors on Wednesday.

    Prosecutors sometime cluster defendants by case, meaning the number of defendants could be higher than five, said Bob Dekle, a University of Florida law professor.

    More at link....

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    Legal experts say they aren't surprised by the level of charges filed in the Champion case.


    Bob Dekle, a law professor at the University of Florida who prosecuted serial killer Ted Bundy in 1979, said prosecutors may have an issue with being able to prove who or what exactly killed Champion.
    http://www.tallahassee.com/article/2...xt%7Cfrontpage
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    ORLANDO, Fla. -- FAMU drum major Robert Champion's parents are unhappy with the charges in their son's death that were announced Wednesday.

    Thirteen people face charges in connection with the beating. Eleven of the suspects face felony hazing charges. Only two were arrested on Wednesday, but more arrests are expected.

    Read more: http://www.wesh.com/news/30997009/de...#ixzz1to21WTjo

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    Thirteen charged in hazing death of FAMU student Robert Champion

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/0...#storylink=cpy

    ...........The 13 defendants who allegedly took part in the beating death of Robert Champion — a 26-year-old drum major — will face charges of a hazing resulting in death, a third-degree felony, said Orange-Osceola State Attorney Lawson Lamar during a nationally televised news conference in Orlando.

    “The death of ... Champion is nothing short of an American tragedy,” Lamar told reporters............

    “The testimony obtained to date does not support a charge of murder, in that it does not contain the elements of murder,” Lamar said. “We can prove participation in hazing and a death. We do not have a blow or a shot or a knife thrust that killed Mr. Champion. It is an aggregation of things, which exactly fit the Florida statute as written by the Legislature.”

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    Two Booked at Leon Co. Jail for Hazing Death, One Bonds Out

    http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/St...149711095.html

    Hazing suspect Rikki Wills has bonded out of the Leon County Jail on $15,000 bond. Caleb Jackson will remain in jail for violating probation.........

    There are more arrests in the hazing death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion. Two men have turned themselves in one in Tampa and one in Fort Lauderdale. That's in addition to the two already arrested in Tallahassee.......

    There are 13 people facing charges in Robert Champion's death. 11 of them are facing felonies.........

    The maximum prison time for hazing resulting in death is six years.

    Lamar also suggested that the investigation was continuing.

    "However, let me strongly state that I urge anyone who has facts about this homicide to come forth and tell the whole truth, especially those not charged, because further charges may be forthcoming in the future," he said.


    More at link....

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    Two FAMU Professors Fired, Linked to Hazing Case

    http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/Tw...149678195.html

    Two FAMU professors have resigned in the wake of a hazing scandal at a Tallahassee home.

    The university intended to fire them anyway according to a letter signed by the FAMU provost.

    The pledge told police that the paddling happened inside the home of FAMU music professor Diron Holloway. He says Holloway - and fellow music professor Anthony Simons - were there. The hazing accusations have now cost them their jobs.

    More at link....

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  13. #57
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    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/0...mu-hazing.html

    ...........“The death of ... Champion is nothing short of an American tragedy,” Lamar told reporters. “While Robert and his family were sacrificing and preparing for his entrance into college, an event that should have assured him a bright and meaningful future, no one could have expected that his college experience would include being pummeled to death.”........

    Champion’s mother, Pam, of Atlanta, who did not attend the press conference, told The Associated Press that she was glad charges were brought but disappointed they weren’t more severe. “I thought there would be more serious charges,” she said. “I thought it should send a harsher message.”

    Lamar, who described the case as “complicated,” said investigators did dozens of interviews with students at the historically black college, but did not have enough evidence to bring murder charges.

    “The testimony obtained to date does not support a charge of murder, in that it does not contain the elements of murder,” Lamar said. “We can prove participation in hazing and a death. We do not have a blow or a shot or a knife thrust that killed Mr. Champion. It is an aggregation of things, which exactly fit the Florida statute as written by the Legislature.”


    More at link.....

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    10 of 11 charged in FAMU felony hazing turn themselves in to authorities

    http://www.wisn.com/news/national/10...z/-/index.html

    (CNN) -
    All but one of 11 people facing felony hazing charges tied to a Florida A&M University band member's death -- including one charged with hazing in another case at the same school -- had turned themselves in by Friday afternoon, a state police spokeswoman said.

    Authorities have been in contact with the family, who are in Georgia, of the lone young woman who has been charged but has not yet gone to a Florida jail, said Gretl Plessinger, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, via e-mail.


    More at link....

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  17. #59
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    Third degree felonies...how sad that is all they are being charged with considering this young man was beaten to death.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Orlando View Post
    Third degree felonies...how sad that is all they are being charged with considering this young man was beaten to death.
    Again, because so many people were allegedly involved and it was not a single hit that killed this guy but accumulation of all the hits. What the law should do is increase penalties for hazing that results in death.
    Just my opinion

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  21. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reader View Post
    Two FAMU Professors Fired, Linked to Hazing Case

    http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/Tw...149678195.html

    Two FAMU professors have resigned in the wake of a hazing scandal at a Tallahassee home.

    The university intended to fire them anyway according to a letter signed by the FAMU provost.

    The pledge told police that the paddling happened inside the home of FAMU music professor Diron Holloway. He says Holloway - and fellow music professor Anthony Simons - were there. The hazing accusations have now cost them their jobs.

    More at link....
    This should have been done by FAMU many months ago, IMO.

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  23. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjenny View Post
    Again, because so many people were allegedly involved and it was not a single hit that killed this guy but accumulation of all the hits. What the law should do is increase penalties for hazing that results in death.
    So, we can charge an accomplice in a robbery with murder if his partner shot and killed someone in the commission of the crime (even if he didn't pull the trigger) but can't charge these guys with murder who actually took part in the killing? He died from his injuries. If someone took part in inflicting those injuries they should be charged with murder. This poor family.
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  25. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Orlando View Post
    So, we can charge an accomplice in a robbery with murder if his partner shot and killed someone in the commission of the crime (even if he didn't pull the trigger) but can't charge these guys with murder who actually took part in the killing? He died from his injuries. If someone took part in inflicting those injuries they should be charged with murder. This poor family.
    DA already explained why he can't charge them with murder. Neither one of these people was trying to kill him. And neither one hit him with enough force to kill him. But combination of all the hits led to his death. Overcharging someone with a crime can lead to complete acquittal rather than conviction, so I understand perfectly well why they didn't go for murder charges.
    Just my opinion

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  27. #64
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    Final defendant in FAMU hazing case turns herself in to authorities

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/loc...,2725383.story

    The last defendant in a FAMU hazing investigation turned herself in to Orange County law-enforcement officers today.

    Lasherry Codner, 20, was the last of 11 defendants to be charged with felony hazing in the 2011 death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion.


    More at link.......

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    Florida A&M University band director Julian White, who has been under intense criticism since the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion in Orlando last fall, retired unexpectedly Thursday amid more troubling revelations about the embattled Marching 100 band.

    White's attorney, Chuck Hobbs, announced the decision late Thursday afternoon. White, 71, chairman of the university's music department and director of bands since 1998, had been fighting for months to keep his job.

    Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott and the chancellor of the State University System said Thursday that FAMU's famous band, which is under indefinite suspension, is not ready to take the field again.

    White's retirement comes days after FAMU revealed that at least two band members charged in Champion's death — and possibly a third — should not have been in the band, and that nearly 100 others may not have been eligible to join the band.

    (snip)

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...d-hazing-death

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    Incredible! 51 of the famous 100 FAMU's marching band were NOT enrolled at the school! AND, they received a per deim!

    51 band members and one cheerleader who made the fatal trip to Orlando were not enrolled in school during the fall. All received per diem from the University to make the trip.

    To be issued a uniform, students had to bring a copy of their class schedule to the Department of Music. No one in the registrar’s office or the Dean’s office bothered to check to see if the student was actually enrolled.

    Two of those charged were NOT students. The last time they were students was in 2008 and 2009!!!

    http://www.nola.com/newsflash/index....b6a40aad543cd9
    Last edited by Trino; 05-14-2012 at 08:13 AM.

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  33. #67
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    Here's the consequences to the band...

    FAMU band to remain suspended through 2012-13 in aftermath of Robert Champion's hazing death

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...ing-death?lite

    Florida A&M University’s famed marching band will remain suspended through the 2012-13 academic year as the school continues to wrestle with the aftermath of the hazing death of a drum major last fall.

    FAMU President James Ammons made the announcement during a teleconference Monday with the university’s board of trustees. He said time is needed to come up with a new set of guidelines before the Marching 100 can be reinstated.

    More at link....

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  35. #68
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    I know it is too little too late for Robert Champion and his family, but I am proud that someone manned up and put their foot down. Suspending the band for another year will hit alumni, enrollment and finances hard but the President of the school, and/or whomever else made the decision, put the welfare of their students back where it belongs- first. Thank you.


    Another link and info about the suspension: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...937d9700bc8774
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    http://us.cnn.com/2012/05/24/justice...html?hpt=ju_c2

    Witnesses: FAMU drum major beaten with drum mallets in hazing gauntlet

    (CNN) -- Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion walked into the darkness of Bus C in a parking lot in Orlando, Florida, last fall in the hope of gaining respect from his fellow band members............

    According to witnesses, Champion first endured a pummeling with fists and bass drum mallets as he sat in what the band describes as the "hot seat." The drum major then would have to "cross over," making his way through a gauntlet of punches, drumsticks and mallets toward the back of the bus........

    More than 2,000 pages of police interviews with witnesses and defendants who were aboard the bus on the day of Champion's death paint the first full blow-by-blow account of what happened on the night they say Champion and two others were hazed.......

    More at link....

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    I was not surprised by any of this. Both my children were members if FSU Matching Chiefs. It was well known in town that serious hazing was happening at FAMU. Some minor hazing started to find its way to FSU and was stopped immediately. After rosters are announced at the end of band tryouts, each section has initiation. They are not permitted to start without a member of the staff present, mostly grad students. My daughters initiation consisted of basically following clues that took them all over campus. At the end, they were welcomed into the section and given the nickname the upperclassmen had bestowed on them. The hazing at FAMU had already caused one of the largest band fraternities to be disbanded at their school, kappa kappa psi.
    Now that my babies are grown and on their own, I have my dh of 32 years to care for, as well as Schatzie, our white German Shepherd. She is now the baby of the household.

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  40. #71
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    Florida A&M president resigns in wake of scandal

    http://www.centurylink.net/news/read...org%3E&ps=1018

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The president of Florida A&M University submitted his resignation Wednesday, the same day the university was sued by parents of a drum major who died during a hazing. It was unclear if the two events were related.

    James Ammons announced the resignation, which takes effect Oct. 11, in a letter to the chairman of the university's governing board. He said his decision came after "considerable thought, introspection and co[n]versations with my family."

    The school's trustees gave Ammons a vote of no-confidence in June, after questioning his leadership in several areas, including what some saw as his lax attitude toward hazing and management of the band prior to Robert Champion's death in November.


    More at link....

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    FAMU students will have to sign anti-hazing pledge to take classes

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/07/us/flo...ing/index.html

    STORY HIGHLIGHTS
    NEW: FAMU's president promises "our actions will be swift and ... decisive"

    New school measures include a website through which students can report hazing to police

    A FAMU band member died in 2011 after being beaten in a hazing ritual

    A school dance team was suspended this week after a tip about a hazing incident

    More at link.....

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  43. #73
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    FAMU blames hazing victim for his own death: Heartless or prudent?

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice...ess-or-prudent

    Florida A&M University said Tuesday that senior drum major Robert Champion's decision to take part in a violent hazing ritual, even after signing a university pledge that he would not participate in hazing, absolves the university and Florida taxpayers from liability for his death.........

    “In many states, you can’t recover [in civil court] if you are the cause of your own harm, but states that have enacted hazing legislation [including Florida] recognize that this act involves a unique type of coercion which removes that defense,” says Doug Fierberg, a hazing law attorney at Bode & Grenier in Washington, D.C. “In other words, you can argue that by joining the band, Champion understood that there might be some hazing, but that’s not a defense" for the university.............

    More at link......

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    FAMU hazing defendant enters no contest plea

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- The first of a dozen defendants charged in the hazing death of a Florida A&M drum major entered a plea of no contest Tuesday to third-degree felony hazing...........

    Jones refused to comment after the hearing in an Orlando courtroom. Sentencing is set for Oct. 22.

    In agreeing to the deal, Circuit Judge Marc Lubet said Jones' role in the hazing death of Robert Champion was relatively minimal.


    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/0...#storylink=cpy

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    http://www.wtxl.com/content/localnew..._RWGk0w-g.cspx

    ............Judge Marc Lubet sentenced Bryan Jones, 23, to:

    6 months Community Control
    2 years probation
    200 hours community service
    4 hours hazing course

    Under Community Control, Bryan Jones will be free, however will be required to wear a monitoring device.

    During the sentencing, Robert Champion's mother address the court saying "...let's pretend the word hazing doesn't exist, then what you did is murder."..............

    Really socked it to him, eh? (sarc off)

    The glory of our elephants and lions is being lost to greed and ignorance.....me

    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

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