© 2024 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Florida Supreme Court Upholds Hazing Law, Conviction In 2011 Death Of FAMU Band Drum Major

Robert Champion, a FAMU Drum Major, died in Nov. 2011 from injuries related to a hazing ritual.
Robert Champion

The Florida Supreme Court has upheld the state’s hazing law and the sentencing of the man convicted in the 2011 Hazing death of Florida A&M University band drum major Robert Champion.

Attorneys for Dante Martin argued before the Supreme Court in February that the hazing statute was vague and that the hazing ritual known as “Crossing Bus C” was a competition and therefore the hazing statute did not apply. They also tried to claim FAMU’s Marching 100 band was not a student organization.  Justices were skeptical of the claims during oral arguments, and unanimously upheld the law and the conviction in their ruling Thursday.

Martin is serving a seven-year prison sentence for being the ringleader in Champion’s death. He died after he was beaten aboard a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel following the annual Orlando Classic football game.

Follow @HatterLynn

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. 

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories here.