Former FAMU Band Member Appeals Hazing Charges

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — A former member of Florida A&M University’s “Marching 100” band has gone to the state’s Supreme Court to challenge his manslaughter and hazing convictions in the 2011 death of drum major Robert Champion.

A notice of appeal was filed Monday on behalf of Dante Martin, who was found guilty of manslaughter, felony hazing resulting in death and two counts of misdemeanor hazing in the death of Champion.

The 5th District Court of Appeal upheld the convictions in November, prompting Martin’s notice to the Supreme Court.

Champion’s death drew national headlines and focused attention on hazing.

Champion was injured in Orlando during a ritual known as “crossing Bus C.” During the ritual, band members were struck repeatedly as they crossed from the front of a bus to the back, and Martin was “president” of Bus C, according to the appeals-court ruling.

Champion passed out after finishing the crossing and later was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Martin, now 29, was sentenced to 77 months in prison after being found guilty by an Orange County jury.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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