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Defense argues FAMU hazing death was ‘contest’

October 14, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Defense attorneys for four Florida A&M band members charged in a drum major’s death say that the state’s anti-hazing law is so vague that what happened on the band bus can be considered a contest, not hazing.

Fifteen former band members were charged with manslaughter and hazing in the November 2011 death of Robert Champion, of Decatur, Georgia. All but the four remaining defendants have had their cases settled.

Champion died after running through a gauntlet of band members who hit him with drumsticks, mallets and fists as he walked through the bus.

Defense attorney Richard Escobar said Tuesday that a sentence in the anti-hazing law makes it impossible to determine what conduct is prohibited.

The trial is set to start Oct. 27.

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