ORLANDO, Fla. – The trial of four members of Florida A&M University’s marching band on charges of felony hazing and manslaughter is scheduled to start Monday, nearly three years after drum major Robert Champion died from being beaten.
His death has shone a spotlight on a hazing ritual at FAMU known as “crossing Bus C,” and caused the band – which had played at the Super Bowl and before U.S. presidents – to be suspended for over a year. It also contributed to the resignation of the university’s president.
Fifteen former band members originally were charged with manslaughter and hazing in the death of Champion, of Decatur, Georgia. All but the four remaining defendants had their cases settled, and several of them will be called as witnesses.