*A little over a year later, after the hazing death of Florida A&M University drum major, 26-year-old Robert Champion, twelve former band mates have been charged with manslaughter. Two others have been charged in the incident as well.
According to the Huffington Post, defendants are facing 15-year prison sentences.
Champion died in November 2011 in a hotel parking lot after a football game. He collapsed following a hazing ritual that included a violent beating.
Authorities reported that the victim had bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back and suffered from internal bleeding.
Witnesses say he was vomiting prior to his death.
Champion’s parents advocated to upgrade the charges, which were felony hazing charges that only acknowledged the suspects participated in a hazing incident.
David S. Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice in Miami, said hazing charges are much less harsh than manslaughter.
“The easy way out is you charge them with felony hazing. That’s what they decided to do initially. You’re still holding someone accountable,” Weinstein said. “Now you have somebody new who comes in, takes a look at the evidence, and for a combination of reasons decides the manslaughter charge is warranted.”
Check out the full report at Huffingtonpost.com.