Robert Champion Case: Third Suspect Turns Himself into Jail
A third suspect in the hazing death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, turned himself into jail on Wednesday night, Hillsborough County deputies said.
23-year-old Bryan Jones, of Parrish, Florida, is the third suspect arrested. He is charged with felony hazing, resulting in death. Jones bonded out on a $15,000 bond.
On Wednesday, State Attorney Lawson Lamar announced that 13 people have been charged, 11 with felony hazing in Champion’s death. Twenty misdeamour hazing counts have also been filed which involve different victims who were not seriously injured, he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, 24-year-old Rikki Wills and Caleb Jackson, 23, were arrested in Tallahassee, cfnews.13 reported. Both have been charged with felony hazing, a third degree felony which carries a maximum punishment of 6 years, if there is no prior criminal record.
Lamar said yesterday the names of the suspects were not being released prior to arrests for fear that individuals might flee.
Teams from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Orange County Sheriff’s Office are working with various law enforcement agencies around the state to locate the suspects and get them booked into various county jail facilities. At that point, FDLE Special Agent in Charge Joyce Dawley said, their names and specific charges will be made public.
“The death of 22-year-old FA&M student Robert Champion is nothing short of an American tragedy,” Lamar said. “Robert Champion died as a result of being beaten. His death is not linked to one sole strike, but is attributed to multiple blows.
Champion, 26, died in Orlando in November 2011, after the Florida Classic game. The Medical Examiner, ruled his death a homicide, after an autopsy revealed there was “hemorrhagic shock due to soft tissue hemorrhage due to blunt force trauma sustained during a hazing incident.”
Lamar said, the Champion case is “complicated” and its prosecution will be “labor intensive and time consuming” on account of the number of victims.
“..Attaining justice for Champion, his family and the University is paramount,” he said.