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Leader of Hazing Death gets 6 Years


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Organizer of fatal FAMU hazing sentenced to 6 years

 

Orange Circuit Judge Renee Roche, saying that "forgiveness doesn't have a role in the legal system," sentenced former FAMU band member Dante Martin to more than six years in prison Friday for organizing the fatal hazing of drum major Robert Champion.

 

It was the harshest sentence yet in the beating death of the drum major three years ago in Orlando.

 

Martin was one of 15 people charged in Champion's death but the only ex-band member to get prison time in the case.

 

Before imposing her sentence, the judge described Martin as a "remarkable young man" with "limitless potential" and a strong support system, basing her view on two hours of testimony from family and friends, including a former band member who pleaded with her to give the 27-year-old a second chance.

 

"On the other hand, the circumstances of this death were so profoundly disturbing," Roche said.

 

Martin's lawyers had asked the judge to spare him a prison sentence, suggesting he could be a persuasive voice against hazing if given the chance.

 

In October, an Orange County jury found Martin guilty of manslaughter and other charges in the hazings of Champion and two other band members. He faced up to 22 years in prison, and Assistant State Attorney Mark Interlicchio asked for a term of nine years, four months - the length recommended by state sentencing guidelines.

 

At Friday's hearing, Martin, who had refused to speak with detectives investigating Champion's death and who did not testify at his trial, spoke publicly for the first time about the hazing. He addressed the Champions from the witness stand, saying he prays for them and promising to speak out against hazing.

"Sometimes we just go with what is tradition," Martin said of hazing at FAMU. "We don't second-guess it, we don't doubt it."

 

Champion's father, Robert Sr., followed Martin to the witness stand. He said his son didn't believe in violence.

 

"My son was against hazing," the father said. "Not one time in court have you heard that my son put his hand on anybody."

 

6 years for organizing the Hazing/beating death of someone else...:no:

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What exactly did they do that led to the death?

 

Had to run a gauntlet from the front of the band bus to the back while being beaten by drum sticks and mallets while also being punched and kicked. It was part of a hazing routine to be accepted. He immediately had trouble breathing, vomited and died.

 

The accused was the "Bus President" and set up the hazing and participated in the beating.

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He was 24 years old and still in college? I remember a few guys like that but most had arrived on campus at the end of the 60's and simply forgot to leave.

 

Hadn't even paid attention to that? Jeez, unless he started late that's kinda old to be in a college band.

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Had to run a gauntlet from the front of the band bus to the back while being beaten by drum sticks and mallets while also being punched and kicked. It was part of a hazing routine to be accepted. He immediately had trouble breathing, vomited and died.

 

The accused was the "Bus President" and set up the hazing and participated in the beating.

 

That's pathetic. My idea of hazing is making the pledges play leap frog.

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I know nothing of the young man who died, but as to his, there could be a couple of potential reasons. He may have served in the military or he worked right out of high school and decided he needed to get into school for a better future. I know of many who where in one of these two categories. Although they were not in a sport or the band.

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I know nothing of the young man who died, but as to his, there could be a couple of potential reasons. He may have served in the military or he worked right out of high school and decided he needed to get into school for a better future. I know of many who where in one of these two categories. Although they were not in a sport or the band.

 

I think the 24 year old was the guy that lead the hazing, not the kid that died.

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