Tags: A&M | hazing | guilty | felony

Three Florida College Ex-Band Members Convicted in Hazing Death

Friday, 24 Apr 2015 07:52 PM

Three former members of the Florida A&M University marching band were found guilty Friday of manslaughter and felony hazing in the death of a drum major in a 2011 incident that drew attention to dangerous college hazing practices.

A state attorney's office said Benjamin McNamee, 24; Aaron Golson, 22; and Darryl Cearnel, 28, were convicted by a jury in the death of Robert Champion. Sentencing is set for June 26, and they face up to 15 years in prison.

Champion, 26, died after he ran down the aisle of the band's bus while being kicked, punched and struck by band members in the seats.

In all, prosecutors charged 15 members of the school's acclaimed "Marching 100" band. Percussionist Dante Martin, described by prosecutors as the ringleader in the assault, was convicted in January and sentenced to more than six years in prison.

Eleven others pleaded guilty after making deals with prosecutors and received community-service sentences. One of them, Jessie Baskin, was also sentenced to 51 weeks in prison last year.

Attorneys for the defendants called Champion's death a tragedy but not a crime, and described the hazing as a long-standing ritual that had never before resulted in a death.

The Florida A&M band, which has performed at the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards and presidential inaugurations, was suspended by the school for more than a year after Champion's death.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Three former members of the Florida A&M University marching band were found guilty Friday of manslaughter and felony hazing in the death of a drum major in a 2011 incident that drew attention to dangerous college hazing practices.
A&M, hazing, guilty, felony
229
2015-52-24
Friday, 24 Apr 2015 07:52 PM
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