Former FAMU band member convicted in 2011 hazing death

Former FAMU student convicted for hazing
Former FAMU student convicted for hazing

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Former FAMU student convicted for hazing 01:07

Story highlights

  • Former FAMU band member found guilty in death of drum major
  • Dante Martin is convicted of manslaughter and felony hazing
  • Victim's mother says conviction is a no-win situation
  • Sentencing set for January
The alleged ringleader of a group of Florida A&M University marching band students who beat drum major Robert Champion Jr. in a 2011 hazing incident was convicted Friday of multiple charges related to Champion's death, according to CNN affiliate CFN13, which was in the courtroom when the verdict was read.
A jury found former band member Dante Martin, 27, guilty of manslaughter and felony hazing after just an hour of deliberations, charges that could carry a sentence of more than 20 years in prison.
"Mr. Martin having been found guilty as charged, you are adjudicated guilty on these counts, on all four counts of the information as charged. You are remanded to the custody of the Orange County sheriff to be taken to the Orange County jail," Circuit Judge Renee Roche said as she delivered the jury's verdict in the case.
Mother reacts to FAMU hazing charges
Mother reacts to FAMU hazing charges

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    Mother reacts to FAMU hazing charges

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Mother reacts to FAMU hazing charges 01:24
New documents in FAMU hazing death
New documents in FAMU hazing death

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    New documents in FAMU hazing death

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New documents in FAMU hazing death 02:35
Florida A&M reinstates marching band
Florida A&M reinstates marching band

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Florida A&M reinstates marching band 01:22
Florida A&M launches anti-hazing effort
Florida A&M launches anti-hazing effort

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    Florida A&M launches anti-hazing effort

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Florida A&M launches anti-hazing effort 01:21
"I won't get my son back, but no one wins here. So there should be sadness all the way around for everyone, and we hope and pray to continue our mission to eradicate hazing -- to end it," Champion's mother, Pamela Champion, told CNN affiliate WFTV.
Champion, 26 of Decatur, Georgia, died after a band hazing ritual in which he was beaten aboard a school bus after a football game in Orlando, Florida. The initiation requires pledges to run down the center of the bus while being punched, kicked and assaulted by senior members, band members have said.
A medical examiner ruled Champion's death a homicide, saying he suffered multiple blunt trauma blows and internal bleeding from the beating. Champion died in the parking lot within an hour of the assault.
Martin is scheduled for sentencing on January 9, 2015.
FAMU famed marching band, known as the Marching 100, was suspended for the 2012-13 school year after Champion's death. The college pledged to make reforms and address hazing both on and off campus.
FAMU is one of the nation's top university marching bands, famous for its elaborate dance formations and innovative style.