A Florida jury found a former Florida A&M marching band member guilty of manslaughter in the 2011 death of drum major Robert Champion.

Dante Martin was among several other band members who played a role in Champion’s fatal death.

From NPR:

Prosecutors said Martin was the ringleader of what they called a dark hazing tradition in which Champion was beaten to death. Martin’s lawyer argued that the tradition of walking through a bus while getting beaten started way before Martin was in the band.

Originally, 15 band members were charged for the role they played in Champion’s death.

“Most of the others have had their cases resolved already,” Greg told All Things Considered. “Several were determined to have had minor roles, and they received probation and community service. Another one pleaded guilty, and he received a year in jail. There are three other band members who are still facing trial. But in his role as president of Bus C, Dante Martin may be the guy who’s on the hot seat here and who’s facing the toughest facts.”

Martin is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9. The manslaughter charge can carry up to 15 years in prison.


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