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Judge Sets October Trial For FAMU Hazing Suspects

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The Florida A&M University marching band performs on the field prior to Super Bowl XLIV between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Florida A&M University marching band performs on the field prior to Super Bowl XLIV between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

South Florida Crime

ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP) – Eleven Florida A&M University band members charged in connection with the felony hazing death of drum major Robert Champion will go on trial in October.

Circuit Judge Marc Lubet set the Oct. 8 date during an arraignment Thursday.

An attorney for one of the 11 defendants said the trial likely won’t start until next year, though, because of the number of defendants and witnesses who need to be interviewed.

Only defendant Shawn Turner was in court Thursday because he had not hired an attorney. He was appointed a public defender.

Most of the other defendants waived their appearances.

Champion, 26, died in November 2011 following what authorities have said was a hazing ritual aboard a bus after a FAMU  football game in Orlando.

His autopsy report listed his cause of death as a homicide as the result of repeated blows to his body.

Champion had opposed hazing. But he was also vying to be the band’s top leader, and friends said he volunteered to be hazed in order to win respect from others.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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