Trial Date Set For FAMU Hazing Suspects

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

June 14, 2012 - Noon

A trial date has been set for the FAMU Marching 100 members charged with felonies in the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. An Orlando judge set the date at a hearing this morning. The judge set a trial date of October 8th, just four months away.

Champion was beaten to death on board a charter bus after the Florida Classic. His fellow band members are charged with felonies in his hazing death. All of them were arraigned in Orlando today, but only one of them Shawn Turner actually showed up in person.
The rest sent lawyers because they had already entered written pleas of not guilty.

Given the number of defendants and witnesses some are already speculating that it will be next year before the case goes to court.


ORLANDO, Fla. - June 14, 2012 -

A judge has set an October trial date for 11 people charged with felony hazing in the death of a Florida A&M drum major.
An attorney for one of the people says the trial likely won't start until next year, though, because of the number of defendants and witnesses who need to be interviewed.

Circuit Judge Marc Lubet set the Oct. 8 date during an arraignment Thursday. Only defendant Shawn Turner was in court because he had not hired an attorney. He was appointed a public defender.
Most of the other defendants waived their appearances.

Champion died in November following what authorities have said was hazing on a bus after FAMU's football game in Orlando.

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  • by k on Jun 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM
    Instead of tearing each other down we should pray that justice is served for Robert. And pray for his family. It sickens me to see "internet thugs and racists" comments on here. This is a problem all over the country. Hazing happens EVERYWHERE... not just bands and HBCU's and Greek Organizations...
    • reply
      by Prayer Thing on Jun 15, 2012 at 11:08 AM in reply to k
      Wow K, doesn't sound like that praying thing is working. Here is an idea; accept personal responsibility for one's own actions. Yeah, I know; that ain't going to happen. By the way, FAMU's band has the distinction of 100 NON-STUDENTS and murder. That is not something that happens so often anywhere but at FAMU and it's surrounding "Thugville neighborhood".
  • by Lori on Jun 15, 2012 at 07:12 AM
    @Marla--that picture just shows how they act like blacks.
  • by Elizabeth Location: Tallahassee on Jun 15, 2012 at 04:26 AM
    don't call me for JURY duty for I will find each and everyone on that BUS reposnible for Champion's death then I would have send them to jail with the understanding ONCE out I will DOCK thier PAYCHECK(2K) for 26 yrs the age of Champion when he died SO these THUGS will always REMEMBER each month what they have done. So DON"T call me for JURY DUTY
  • by Jess on Jun 14, 2012 at 08:01 PM
    The penalties for hazing won't amount to much if these guys are found guilty. That is the truly sad.
  • by Walt on Jun 14, 2012 at 05:45 PM
    @haftawonder--what planet are you from and what do you think hazing is? It's where you beat the s*** out of your cousins. In this case they were all black cousins.
    • reply
      by HaveA Point on Jun 15, 2012 at 04:19 AM in reply to Walt
      Walt, is there some point in there? I am not among the tribe that believes "hazing to death" and "murder" are two different things and have made no such assertion. Quite the contrary, in fact. I also understand that without the tribe's approach in this matter some member(s) of the tribe would have to be held to a very high level of personal responsibility and I realize (historically speaking) there is about as much chance of that, as a snowball surviving indefinitely in a thousand degree hot oven.
  • by Marla Location: Thomasville on Jun 14, 2012 at 05:28 PM
    I love that picture of Robert Champion and the child Mascott that is on the WCTV page leading to this comment page. Robert's Family has so much to proud of he was a fine young man. That picture should get nominated in some type of photography award.
  • by Selara Spires Location: Clearwater on Jun 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM
    I am very thankful for Robert Champion's Mother that he was killed due to hazing and not murdered by thugs. This murder was committed with the best of intentions by people who were not actually students and were fortunate to have their expenses paid by the FAMU administration. I know the Champion family is pleased that this was only a hazing death.
  • by Al on Jun 14, 2012 at 11:32 AM
    @haftawonder--you are an idiot. I hope it is impossible to figure out who killed him. He chose to participate even though he didn't choose to die. How many people do you think he beat the s*** out of? Just like Trayvon Martin--he was no angel.
    • reply
      by Hafta Wonder on Jun 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM in reply to Al
      Nice to see you got the point; at least one white person would be charged. P.S. I seriously doubt Champion beat the *** out of anyone not a "cousin". Cowardice is also historically consistent.
      • reply
        by Jess on Jun 14, 2012 at 08:01 PM in reply to Hafta Wonder
        How about, none.
      • reply
        by Jess on Jun 14, 2012 at 08:04 PM in reply to Hafta Wonder
        @ Al, How about, none.
  • by Little Minds on Jun 14, 2012 at 11:19 AM
    We pray for a better society but we will not let race go. If they can not prove who killed him that is the law. If 30 white people in a room someone will speak and will the person be beaten to death. Seriously I think out of 30 people no matter color someone in the room will have remorse enough to try and prevent such extreme. I hate the incident happen but we must remind everyone the World hold choices and at 26 years old I pray my children knows the difference in stupidity, ignorance and good moral concept.
    • reply
      by Tiny Minds on Jun 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM in reply to Little Minds
      Thank you for pointing out clearly that you believe that if 30 white folks were together at least one of them would do the right hing, but you do not believe that would be the case with the african race. I wouldn't have thought WCTV would post your ever so clear observation.
      • reply
        by Facts on Jun 15, 2012 at 06:18 PM in reply to Tiny Minds
        The facts speak otherwise, so why complain?
  • by Kenya Location: fam on Jun 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM
    The sad thing is famu will get more money out of the whole deal, layers will get money, the ones who did it will get a slap on the wrist and "graduate", the ones who should have prevented will get raises...and someone died. Messed up world.
    • reply
      by Jess on Jun 14, 2012 at 08:02 PM in reply to Kenya
      No, they won't graduate because if they are students, they have been/will be expelled. Plus, several of them aren't students.
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