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Ex-FAMU Band Member First To Be Sentenced To Jail In Hazing Case

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A former Florida A&M University band member has been sentenced to jail for the 2011 death of a drum major.

In all 13 people were charged in the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. Six have received probation but no jail or prison sentences.

Friday, Jessie Baskin became the first person to receive a jail sentence in the case. Baskin  received a year behind bars, along with five years of probation and 300 hours of community service for his role in the hazing ritual aboard a bus in Orlando that led to Champion’s death.

Many of the defendants in the case initially faced felony hazing charges, which carried a maximum of five years in prison, but state prosecutors upped the charges to manslaughter. Baskin had faced up to nine years in prison after pleading no contest to the manslaughter charge.

Another defendant, Caleb Jackson, received four years in prison for violation of probation for his role in Champion’s death. He is still awaiting trial on the manslaughter charge and will testify against the accused in the trial.

Following Champion’s death, Florida A&M University revised its hazing policies and suspended the Marching 100 band from performing. They resumed performing last year.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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