Thirteen people will be charged in connection to the death of Florida A&M University band member Robert Champion. Eleven of the 13 suspects will be charged with felony hazing, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of six years behind bars. The other two will face misdemeanor hazing.
Champion, 26, died on the band's bus in late November. The death was ruled a homicide, caused by internal bleeding resulting from blunt-force trauma. It's believed that Champion, who was gay, was subjected to a hazing ritual known as "crossing bus c." Hazing victims are made to walk from the front of the bus to the back while other members in the seat beat them on their way to the back.
According to The Wall Street Journal, State attorney Lawson Lamar will not yet release the names of those charged until they have all been arrested.
"Further charges may be forthcoming in the future," said Lamar.
The famed marching band program was put on suspension following Champion's death. Four students were dismissed, and the band's director was suspended, but all have been reinstated at least until the school's full investigation is complete.
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