Death of FAMU Drum Major Ruled Homicide

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The death of a Florida A&M University drum major has been ruled a homicide after an autopsy showed he died of internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma.

Officials in Orlando said Friday that Robert Champion had bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back. Officials believe he died following a hazing ritual.

The 26-year-old student’s Nov. 19 death revealed a culture of hazing within FAMU’s famed band, the “Marching 100.” It led to the suspension of longtime band director Julian White.

Four students suspected of involvement in hazing were briefly expelled after his death but later reinstated.

A criminal investigation is being led by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Any death involving hazing is a third-degree felony in Florida, but so far no charges have been filed.

Source: Gary Fineout, Associated Press