Ex-FAMU Marching-Band Member Found Guilty in Hazing Case

FAMU drum major Robert Champion (center) died after a November 2011 hazing ritual for the marching band.  
Courtesy of Champion Family

The so-called leader of a group of Florida A&M University marching-band students who fatally beat drum major Robert Champion Jr. was convicted Friday of multiple charges related to the death, according to CNN.

Dante Martin, 27, was found guilty of manslaughter and felony hazing by a jury after just an hour of deliberations, the report says. The charges could carry a sentence of more than 20 years in prison.


After the verdict, Pamela Champion, the victim’s mother, spoke out against hazing during an interview with CNN affiliate WFTV. “I won’t get my son back, but no one wins here,” she told the station. “So there should be sadness all the way around for everyone, and we hope and pray to continue our mission to eradicate hazing—to end it.”

The hazing took place in November 2011 after a football game in Orlando, Fla. Band members boarded Bus C outside a hotel and began attacking Champion and two other members in a ritual that involved the trio attempting to travel the length of the bus from front to back while being beaten.

Champion endured the pummeling and made it to the rear of the bus but soon began showing signs of distress. He vomited and complained of having trouble breathing. He fell unconscious and could not be revived. His autopsy showed that he died from hemorrhagic shock resulting from extensive internal bleeding. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

Martin is to be sentenced Jan. 9.

Read more at CNN.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter