FAMU Drum Major’s Death: Homicide

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FAMU drum major Robert Champion’s death has been ruled a homicide, authorities said on Friday.

Robert Champion

An autopsy conducted by Dr. Jan Garavaglia, Orange/Osceola County Chief Medical Examiner, found that Champion, had “extensive contusions of his chest, arms, shoulder and back with extensive hemorrhage,” likely as a result of a hazing attack he suffered before his sudden death.

Champion 26, died last month following the Florida Classic game in Orlando.  Since then, investigations underway into his sudden death revealed that the school has a long history of hazing, prompting the firing of the Marching 100 band director Julian White.

At the request of Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement joined the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in a criminal investion into Champion’s death.

Since FDLE began its investigation, the agency has uncovered possible employee fraud and misconduct at the university.   This led to Scott calling for the immediate suspension of FAMU president Dr. James Ammons as the multiple investigations are conducted.

The FAMU board will meet on Monday in a teleconference to determine what action will be taken, although they had earlier rejected Ammons’ suspension, opting instead for a public reprimand.

In a separate hazing incident, on Monday, three FAMU band members were charged with the hazing of another band member, Bria Shante Hunter for initiation to the “Red Dawg Order,” some three weeks prior to Champion’s death.

On Friday, a spokesperson from OCSO said, now with the medical examiner’s ruling in hand, the Homicide Unit is moving to finalize its investigation and will be working with the State Attorney’s Office to identify the applicable charges.

This is an developing story.   Check back later for more. 

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