Court Cases I WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Former Marching 100 Member Sentenced To Probation, Community Service - WCTV Live Blog

By: Lanetra Bennett; Associated Press Email
By: Lanetra Bennett; Associated Press Email

Orlando, FL - The first defendant charged with a felony in the hazing death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion's escapes jail time.

Today in an Orlando courtroom a judge sentenced Bryan Jones to two years probation.. It's been almost a year since Robert Champion died.

Jones is the first of 11 people charged with a felony in the hazing death to be sentenced.

In court he tearfully said his heart also hurts.

Champion's mother said the judge could not possibly understand her pain when Jones stated that his participation in her son's death was minor.

Pam Champion, Robert Champion's Mother: "Bryan, what did you do to Robert? And remember we don't have the word hazing here, were pretending it doesn't exist. I will take the hazing off the top of what was done to Robert. Then you have murder. We can call it different degrees of murder, who cares. The bottom line is murder."

Jones' mother also spoke.

She told the champions she believes her son when he says he had nothing to do with the 26-year-old's drum major's death.

Jones' mother stated, "but we will continue to pray for healing, that's hard. I know it is.I know when my child hurts, it hurts me. I know that it is a void in your lives. I know that because i have one. And when he goes away that's a void temporarily but i know yours is lasting."

Bryan Jones: "I just want the world to know that I'm sorry for the death of your son, Robert. I truly am. No word or anything i can do will be sufficient enough to express how regretful i am of the loss of Robert."


Orlando, FL - "I think you're worth saving" - and with that, an Orange County judge gave Bryan Jones two years probation.

Just before announcing Bryan Jones' sentence Monday afternoon, Robert Champion's mother looked Jones directly in his eyes, and told him that because he was among FAMU Marching 100 band mates hazing her son, he is responsible for murder.

Champion died after a hazing ritual last November 19th after the Florida Classic in Orlando.

Jones' mother told the Champions that she believes her son when he said he had nothing to do with the 26 year old drum major's death.


Orlando, FL - The first defendant in the hazing death of FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion learned his fate today.

Bryan Jones was sentenced in Orlando this afternoon.

Before giving his sentence, the judge told Robert Champion's parents that he could only sentence Bryan Jones based on the evidence. The state admitted in the courtroom today that there was no evidence to show that Jones hit, punched, or kicked Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion when he died last November.

Therefore, the judge gave Bryan Jones six months of having a GPS monitoring device, followed by two years of probation. Jones is also sentenced to 200 hours of community service.

The judge said while Champion's death was tragic, evidence showed that Jones' participation was minor.

Champion died after an hazing ritual last November 19th after the Florida Classic here in Orlando.

His parents say everyone on the charter bus where the hazing took place is responsible - including Jones.

Ten other FAMU band members face felony hazing charges, and two more face misdemeanor counts for their alleged role in the hazing ritual. The other ten facing felony charges are slated to go to trial early next year.

Robert Champion's father also spoke, saying he was emotional with a heavy heart.


Orlando, FL - The first of a dozen defendants to be sentenced in last year's hazing death of a Florida A&M drum major has avoided jail time but will spend more than two years under close supervision.

Bryan Jones was sentenced at the hearing Monday to six months of community control, which puts strict limits on his freedom and requires frequent check-ins with probation officials. Following that, he'll serve two more years of probation. He's also required to perform 200 hours of community service.

The 23-year-old from Parrish, Fla., had entered a no-contest plea Oct. 9 to a third-degree felony charge after initially pleading not guilty.

Judge Marc Lubet said Jones' role in the hazing death of Robert Champion was relatively minimal and that Jones did not beat or hit Champion.

Champion died last November after being beaten by fellow band members during a hazing ritual aboard a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel after a football game.


Orlando, FL - 3:22 pm - Bryan Jones receives six months community control (GPS monitoring), two years probation, 200 hours community service, and is required to take a 4 hour hazing course.


Orlando, FL - Noon - The first of more than a dozen defendants charged in the hazing death of FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion could learn his fate today.

Bryan Jones is scheduled to be sentenced here at the Orange County Courthouse in about an hour and a half. The 23-year-old is the first of the 11 people who were charged with felony hazing in the death of FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion.

Bryan Jones recently entered a plea of no contest to third-degree felony hazing. The judge witheld adjudication, saying Jones' role in champion's death was relatively minimal. 26-year-old Robert Champion died last November 19th. Authorities say he'd taken part in a hazing ritual after the Florida Classic Football Game here in Orlando.

Ten other FAMU band members face felony hazing charges, and two more face misdemeanor counts for their alleged role in the hazing ritual. The other ten facing felony charges are slated to go to trial early next year. Because Bryan Jones entered a plea, he did not have to face a jury but, he will learn his fate today.

His sentencing starts at 1:30. We're told Robert Champion's parents will be here today.

Stay with WCTV for more information.


Orlando, FL - 8:00 am - FAMU Marching 100 member, Bryan Jones is to be sentenced in Orlando this morning, October 22, 2012 at 9:30 am. He entered plea to felony hazing in death of Robert Champion.

Join us for our live blog for the sentencing of Bryan Jones in connection with the FAMU hazing death of Robert Champion.

No login information is required:

http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?option=com_altcaster&task=playaltcast&altcast_code=d64f99bfc3

Stay up to date with all the latest news at www.wctv.tv and follow us on twitter @WCTV.


October 10, 2012 - The first of more than a dozen defendants charged in the hazing death of FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion has entered a plea.

On October 9th, 23 year old Bryan Jones entered a no contest plea to third-degree felony hazing. The Judge withheld adjudication, saying Jones' role in Champion's death was relatively minimal.

Ten other FAMU band members face felony hazing charges, and two more face misdemeanor counts for their alleged role in the hazing ritual.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 173490341