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.

[tweet https://twitter.com/DaraleneJones/status/260447656571179008%5D

soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. TIWI

    what was this dude majoring in? 26 and still in school?

    October 22, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sagebrush Shorty

      Hazing and bear hugs.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Gee! Maybe he started late? Genius much?

      October 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Politeteasipper

      some people choose to go to college later, some are making up for earlier mistakes, some choose to return and get another bachelors, and some choose to continue on to graduate work. I am 29, my husband is 30, and we are both still in school since our chosen careers require a masters or better. It took me 6 years to get my undergrad since I didn't have parents paying my way.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitch

      Its FAMU, probably a freshman.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • pointless1

      At the very least he was trying to go to school. You probably just got a GED and called it quits.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • K

      What difference does it make on how old the victim was? 16, 26 or 86 they killed somones son, brother, nephew, cousin, grandchild or daddy etc.... Please tell me why his age is of importance? He's dead. I know plenty of people who have gone back to school and I think it's great. They went to get educated not to die at the hands of some mindless idiots who could not think for themselves, they let the tradition think for them. Is this a defense?
      I am so sad for this family.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rattler05

      I went to Famu FALL 05 Robert started in 2004. he was 18 then. You do the math.

      October 24, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Rattler05

      He never started late.

      October 24, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sagebrush Shorty

    This is punishment? Small wonder that so many people have so little respect for the law. The punishment no longer fits the crime. What a joke our justice system has become.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • justobvious

      He made the decision to not contest. That was much braver than any troll standing on the sideline with no skin in the game.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AstronautsAroundUs

    "Community Control" is regulation of the outflow and influx of africans in public venues.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. K

    So since they did not mean to harm him it's okay cause it was a stupid traditionl??? Teach your child to punch, kick and eventually kill someone because of tradition. Are you mad? Your child obviously is not the one buried in the ground. This kind of nonsense has to stop. When I was in school the only iinitiation was the freshmen wearing something stupid and walking around campus having to sing stupid songs. Not one person ever harmed or died. Come on.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BJones

    This is absolutely sad! While kids make mistakes and these are kids, something just shy of house arrest is not appropriate for killing another kid! Hazing has been known to be wrong for many years! this is nothing new! Sadly where I am from some young girls died as a result of hazing. If there are so little consequences, what deterrent is there for future hazing! He should have at least got some community service, talking to other schools and students about the dangers of hazing. My heart goes out to the families on all sides of this sad event.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lady Dee

    I think it should have been some jail time here because not only one person was their it was others their that was hitting kicking etc. Aint no telling what they where doing they all need to do some jail time they did that they might try someone else

    October 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Patrick

    all involved will get karma sooner than later ...

    October 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erica

      Are you Dazzle's ex hubby?

      October 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Anne

    Bad and reckless behavior will continue until there are actual and meaningful consequences. This sentence sends the wrong message. It says you can kill someone and get away with it.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      There's no proof that this guy killed him. Thus the plea bargain.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mitch

    No jail for murder, just freaking beautiful.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kristal

    college idiots- beating people 2 within a inch of their lives anywhweres but a college and your going 2 jail

    October 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Loki

    Typical. Thug Trayvon warrants a murder charge. This fool gets house arrest. Blacks act like little children and get treated as such. Where is that anus Sharpton?

    October 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Spartacus

    sickening, just sickening that this guy is walking, I hope he messes up his probation because he is a Murderer !!!

    just sickening, nothing less....Talk about getting it completely f'ing Wrong !

    There is Just NO such thing as Justice in the U.S.

    Period !!!

    October 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GT66

    "CNN is looking to confirm the spelling." This is absolutely critical to bringing this sad story to a close. Please, CNN put your best people on this and let us all know as soon as it is confirmed!

    October 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    This smells more like Complicity to Commit Murder. Pick up trash on the highway? More like 20 years in the state pen, including the judge that sentenced him.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. woodie

    Sounds like the guy died from being crushed. He should be charged with manslaughter at the least.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
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