MIAMI — Thirteen people were charged Wednesday in the hazing death of the leader of the Florida A&M University marching band, prosecutors said — an incident that cast a light on college hazing rituals.
Drum major Robert Champion, 26, was beaten to death on November 19 in what was described as a hazing incident on the band’s bus after a football game.
Authorities said Champion suffered multiple blunt force blows just prior to his death. Blows to the upper part of his body led to hemorrhaging that caused his death, doctors said.
Eleven of the 13 people were charged with hazing resulting in death, a felony in the third degree, and could face six years in jail if convicted. The other two suspects face lesser charges.
Police said one person had been arrested so far.
The incident mirrored similar hazing cases involving fraternities, sororities and sports teams on American college campuses, but also exposed a similar tradition among some university marching bands.