ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ A prosecutor says the three remaining defendants on trial for the hazing death of a Florida A&M drum major didn’t beat him because they disliked him but because it was tradition.
State Attorney Jeff Ashton said Friday during closing arguments that Robert Champion’s death was the result of a hazing tradition that was ingrained in the school’s famed band.
Closing arguments were delayed after Ashton wanted to find out if jurors were influenced by the sight of two defendants praying outside the courtroom.
Almost all of the six jurors say they saw Aaron Golson and Benjamin McNamee praying.
Judge Renee Roche questioned the jurors but no one said it would influence them.
McNamee, Golson and Darryl Cearnel are the final three defendants charged with manslaughter and hazing in Champion’s death.