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Defendants say FAMU drum major wanted to be hazed

Champion Family
2010 Photo of Robert Champion. The Florida A&M drum major died in a hazing incident.

Prosecutors in the case of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, who died after being hazed on a bus last November, have released more than fifteen hundred pages of evidence against the thirteen band members who have been charged. The evidence shows Champion wanted to be hazed, but the family rejects that claim. In a deposition, lead drum major Jonathan Boyce said Champion decided on his own to go through the  hazing ritual.“You know he had wanted to go and do that so I was like, let me go and try to pull him off and try to save him.”But it was too late. Champion had already made it to the back of the pitch-black bus as he was beaten with things like drum sticks, hands and straps. Pam Champion denies her son would willingly participate in hazing.“Robert was not violent, he would never do any hazing, and for someone to actually say he would, I’m saying, no.”An autopsy showed Champion died of hemorrhagic shock caused by blunt force trauma.