Joseph Poakwa
photo: AP

1st FAMU Band Member To Be Sentenced In Hazing Death Of Robert Champion

 

Brian Jones, will be the first of 12 former Florida A&M marching band members to be sentenced for his involvement in the crossing Bus C fatal hazing of 26-year-old Robert Champion. The 23-year-old pleaded no contest to felony hazing charges and attests that he was not one of the 100 marching band members aboard  the bus, when the hazing began. However, fellow band mate and hazing participant, Benjamin McNamee, claimed that he saw Jones holding the FAMU drum major in a bear hug during the incident.

Leading up to the ritual, Champion walked from the front to the back of  the bus, while receiving punches and kicks from fellow band mates. He later died from hemorrhagic shock, which occurs when the oxygen necessary for cellular function is reduced, or becomes inadequate. Whenever cellular oxygen demand outweighs supply, both the cell and the organism are in a state of shock.

For his involvement in the beating, Jones is subject to a probationary sentence with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Champion’s death is not the only case of hazing to come out of FAMU. Only three weeks before his death, freshman Bria Hunter, claimed she was beaten on two occasions by three of her fellow male band mates James Harris, 22, Aaron Golson, 19, and Sean Hobson, 23. Hunter sustained a broken leg as a result of her hazing. With school back in session, FAMU will now try to move on from its tarnished reputation.

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