[UPDATE] Robert Champion's Full Autopsy Report Released

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[UPDATE] 12-21

The Medical Examiner in Orange County releases Robert Champion's full autopsy report. The report can be found in PDF format above.

UPDATE 12-21

The medical examiner says the body of Marching 100 Drum Major Robert Champion arrived in the morgue nude ... making the multiple bruises even more visible. The final autopsy report was released this morning.

The preliminary results that were released on Friday called Robert Champion's death a homicide due to a hazing incident. Today's report is 21 pages long ... and it says bruising from blunt force trauma was all over Champion's chest, arms, shoulders and back.

Only the people Robert Champion was around when he died may really know exactly what happened... but, evidence of it was left on the Marching 100 drum major's body.

The final autopsy report just released says 26-year-old Champion's death is the result of hemorrhagic shock due to soft tissue hemorrhage, incurred by blunt fore trauma sustained during a hazing incident. It is listed as a homicide.

Champion was found unresponsive on a charter bus in a hotel parking lot on November 19th after the Florida Football Classic in Orlando.

The medical examiner confirms what the 911 caller said about vomit being in Champion's mouth.

The autopsy says immediately after the hazing, Champion complained of thirst and fatigue...minutes later, had loss of vision. The report says he collapsed and died within an hour.

UPDATE 12-17 by Mike Springer

26-year-old drum major, Robert Champion died during the band's trip to the Florida Classic last month . Today, the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide, caused from the blows he received while being hazed. While many students aren't surprised by the ME's findings, they say it's time for the university and its students to begin moving on

"The negativity needs to stop. It's not helping no body. We need to lift each other up," says Myron Williams.

First year student Myron Williams says the media scrutiny the university has faced over the last month because of Robert Champion's death has been challenging to deal with.

"I love FAMU and I love the education and I'm trying to to better for myself and that whole predicament with the government and the school, it's been kind of hard,' says Williams.

Champion died during the band's trip to the Florida Classic last month. On Friday, the Orange County Medical Examiner ruled Champion's death a homicide . The ME says Champion's death resulted from the constant blows he received while being hazed, which caused extensive bruising to his chest, arms and shoulders. He's death and the university's future remain constant topics on campus.

"Students are talking about. Students are out here. Everybody is making comments about what could happen to our university," says Spencer Henderson.

Even with the uncertainty surrounding the university, its band and president, student's remain united.

"As you can see we are still here and we are still rattler strong. Like everyone else, we're here for an education to better our lives," says Williams.

Deputies haven't charged anyone with Champion's death. But say they will continue to work with the states attorneys office on possible charges.

“This information is extremely upsetting for all of us, even though it confirmed what we suspected. We again convey our deepest condolences to the Champion family. We will continue to cooperate with all agencies looking into the matter and are committed to creating a safe environment for the entire FAMU community and ensuring that this never happens again at FAMU.”

Dr. Solomon L. Badger, III
Chair, Florida A&M University Board of Trustees

James H. Ammons
President, Florida A&M University


OCSO Robert Champion Death Investigation Update

Case: Robert Champion death ruled a homicide by medical examiner

When: November 19, 2011

Location: 9700 International Drive, Orlando

Victim: Robert Champion

Dr. Jan Garavaglia, Chief Medical Examiner for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, has ruled the death of Robert Champion a homicide. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has been notified of the M.E.’s findings and a final autopsy report has been provided to the OCSO Homicide Unit.

With the receipt of the M.E.’s report, the OCSO Homicide Unit continues to finalize the investigation of Robert Champion and the hazing activities that lead to his death. Homicide Investigators have interviewed the vast majority of the individuals present during this incident. In the coming days and weeks investigators will be working with the State Attorney’s Office to identify the charges that are applicable. During the inception of this death investigation OCSO Detectives have followed all appropriate protocols as if investigating a homicide and will continue to do so through the conclusion of the case.

No additional information can be shared until charges are announced.


Death of Florida A&M Drum Major Ruled a Homicide
by Gary Fineout

Tallahassee, FL (AP) - The death of a Florida A&M University drum major has been ruled a homicide after an autopsy showed he died of internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma.

Officials in Orlando said Friday that Robert Champion had bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back. Officials believe he died following a hazing ritual.

The 26-year-old student's Nov. 19 death revealed a culture of hazing within FAMU's famed band, the "Marching 100." It led to the suspension of longtime band director Julian White.

Four students suspected of involvement in hazing were briefly expelled after his death but later reinstated.

A criminal investigation is being led by the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Any death involving hazing is a third-degree felony in Florida, but so far no charges have been filed.


UPDATE 12-16-2011 4:41pm

Orange County deputy says an OCSO news release is coming out within half hour on where the investigation stands



December 16, 2011

RE: Robert Champion, deceased
(ME 2011-001392)

DATE OF DEATH: November 19, 2011


CAUSE OF DEATH: Hemorrhagic shock due to soft tissue hemorrhage
due to blunt force trauma sustained during a
hazing incident.

CONCLUSION: Mr. Robert Champion, a previously healthy 26-year-old member of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University marching band, collapsed and died within an hour of a hazing incident during which he suffered multiple blunt trauma blows to his body.

Immediately after the hazing incident, he complained of thirst and fatigue; minutes later, he noted loss of vision and soon after had a witnessed arrest. These symptoms are consistent with hypotension or shock. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation ensued with aspiration of stomach contents into his airway.

In the hospital, his hemoglobin and hematocrit were found to be extremely low (7.0 g/dL and 22%, respectively) with no external source of blood loss or intravascular hemolysis. During this time, his potassium was found to be at a normal level as was his creatinine kinase.

The autopsy revealed extensive contusions of his chest, arms, shoulder, and back with extensive hemorrhage within the subcutaneous fat, between fascial planes and within deep muscles. There was also evidence of crushing of areas of subcutaneous fat. He had no injuries to internal organs from the blunt trauma or any bone fractures. He had no evidence of natural disease except for a slightly enlarged heart with a normal left ventricular wall. Subsequent testing revealed no hemoglobinopathies (normal hemoglobin electrophoresis ruled out sickle disease and trait) and negative toxicology for drugs and alcohol. Microscopic examination revealed minimal fatty emboli. He was known to have had a normal hemoglobin and hematocrit (13.6 g/dL and 40.9%, respectively) back in 2008.

Based on the short period of time following the blunt trauma, premorbid symptoms, his collapse and dramatic drop in hemoglobin and hematocrit (indicating a significant rapid blood loss), and the extensive hemorrhage within his soft tissues, including deep muscles, it is our opinion that the death of Robert Champion, a 26-year-old male, is the result of hemorrhagic shock due to soft tissue hemorrhage, incurred by blunt force trauma sustained during a hazing incident.

Examination performed by Sara Irrgang, M.D., Associate Medical Examiner, with Jan Garavaglia, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, in attendance.

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