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June 15, 2012

FAMU hazing death trial set for Oct. 8

ORLANDO, Fla. (UPI) -- A Florida judge Thursday set an Oct. 8 trial date for 11 ex-Florida A&M University marching band members accused in the hazing death of Robert Champion.

Only one of the defendants, former drum major Shawn Turner, showed up for an arraignment in Orlando, where Circuit Judge Marc Lubet set the date for trial, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The newspaper said almost all of the defendants had filed written not guilty pleas and were excused from court.

Lubet appointed an assistant public defender, Margaret McDonnell, to represent Turner. She said she advised Turner not to speak to reporters.

After the hearing, Craig J. Brown, a lawyer representing defendant and former band member Aaron Golson, said he doubted the hazing cases would be ready by October, given the number of defendants and dozens of potential witnesses to interview.

Brown predicted the cases would not be ready for trial until next year.

The defendants, all of whom were members of FAMU's Marching 100, are charged with felony hazing in the death of Champion, who was a drum major.

Prosecutors said Champion, 26, died Nov. 19 when he was "pummeled to death" during a hazing ritual aboard the percussion section's bus when it was parked outside an Orlando hotel after an FAMU game.

Comments :


that's one way to view it. since they didn't give a lot of detail, we could also stcpulaee that the candidate wanted to be responsible for more than just marching and pep bands, or at least have an opportunity to do more from a teaching perspective. any musician will tell you that there's a lot more to the band than what you see on saturday afternoons. if the new director couldn't have control of the totality (musically) of his students, it's hard to get him to commit.maybe the director knew (from experience) that the model being presented (academically) was not one of success, but the university was being stubborn and told him he couldn't structure the program his way.this is all conjecture based on what the university released, but so is the argument presented in the article. the university's statement to me doesn't show anything to me other than they got antsy and spoke too soon.


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