No jail for student in FAMU hazing death
Florida A&M University student and band member Robert Champion, 26, died in November.
October 22nd, 2012
03:38 PM ET

No jail for student in FAMU hazing death

One of the students who was involved in the death of Robert Champion during a hazing initiation was sentenced Monday to six months of community control, two years of supervised probation and 200 hours of community service.

Another student had said he saw Bryan Jones holding the Florida A&M University band member in a bear hug.

Jones, who had previously pleaded not guilty before changing his plea to no contest, was sentenced on a charge of felony hazing resulting in death. The judge said if Jones didn't abide by the sentencing order he would face up to 72 months in a state penitentiary.

Jones will be required to document where he is going and make requests for trips under community control, which is the highest form of probation you can receive. It falls short of house arrest.

Champion died after taking part in a band hazing ritual that eventually led to his death. The ritual, known as crossing the bus, is an initiation process in which pledges attempt to run down the center aisle from the front door of the bus to the back while being punched, kicked and assaulted by senior members, band members have said.

Champion collapsed in Orlando on the bus, which was carrying members of FAMU's Marching 100 after a November football game that included a halftime performance by the group.

The medical examiner's office ruled his death a homicide and said Champion "collapsed and died within an hour of a hazing incident during which he suffered multiple blunt trauma blows to his body." An autopsy found "extensive contusions of his chest, arms, shoulder and back" as well as "evidence of crushing areas of subcutaneous fat."

WFTV reporter Daralene Jones tweeted that Jones corrected the spelling of his name to "Brian" instead of "Bryan" while in court on Monday after various spellings had been used. CNN is looking to confirm the spelling.


soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. James

    Nice you kill someone & only get probation & community service ! Huh !

    October 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • IgnorantsAroundUs

      Guess you never followed the story. This was FAR from a murder, this guy didn't "kill someone", read some actual accounts of what happened and then tell us if you think prison is the answer for these kids.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • kandy321

      I wish I were black.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    ...And a lifetime full of guilt and nightmares, I hope.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    "Champion died after taking part in a band hazing ritual that eventually led to his death." Wow, whatever happened to hiring journalists who could actually write?

    October 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lynn

      You must be reading that while walking, chewing gum, and trying to remember your third grade reading lessons.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TBoneNYC

    And yet again the State of Florida proves they have one of the worse court systems in the country. Murder = Probation. At least it's not Casey Anthony where Murder = A Free Pass.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • IgnorantsAroundUs

      I wonder what outcome you would have liked to have seen? These seem like pretty serious penalties being handed down for some really stupid decisions these kids made. But that's all it was, stupidity, not malice. If you think prison is the answer, you should contemplate the benefit of that to society. From the accounts I read, that's not what Robert would have wanted, he didn't hate these guys and they didn't hate him, it was a stupid tradition and resulted in a tragic death, nothing more.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. db

    Doesn't help Robert Champion to much though does it?

    October 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Misty Waters

    This barbaric initiations is nothing short of joining a street gang of the "Bloods" or the "Crypts". Shameful!

    October 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • The man with a plan

      you mean Crips right

      October 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AO

    My heart goes out to his family but Robert Champion has some responsiblity for his own death. At 26 he made a
    choice that he couldn't live with. All parties involved were wrong.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John Smyth

    Way to go judge.

    A real deterrent to manslaughter.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wrongwaypeachfuzz

    nice slap on the wrist for a college kid who killed somebody. It kins of makes you wonder What's the difference between the florida marching band and any street gang? What a bunch of crapola.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Scott

    No prison for participating in a murder? And I should respect the U.S. inJustice racket for what reasons?


    October 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. That would be the way to go

    Now he knows what will happen next time he participates in killing someone – a stern slap on the wrist...

    October 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Air Bud

    This guy will just be back on the Florida Streets to spread more PCP-fueled violence.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ivan

    Talk about getting away with Murder!

    October 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dabrotha33

    Can someone tell me what "community control" is?....I've never heard of that!

    October 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LadyBee

    Jones was not the only one doing the hazing...sure he should be sentenced to more than that but what penalties did the other team members get????

    October 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
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