Robert Champion Hazing Death: Pam Champion, victim's mother, wanted more severe charges
(CBS/AP) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The mother of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, who died during a hazing ritual aboard a charter bus last fall, said in an interview on Wednesday that she is glad charges were filed but disappointed they weren't more severe.
"The term 'hazing' in itself is a very light term," Pam Champion told CNN's "AC360". "I don't look at it as being a form of bullying. Hazing is a very brutal assault ... against another person."
Prosecutors announced that thirteen individuals will be charged in connection to Robert Champion's death. State Attorney Lawson Lamar says 11 of the 13 people charged will face the felony charge. The others will face a misdemeanor charge.
Lamar announced the charges at a news conference Wednesday. The charges come more than five months after the 26-year-old died aboard a chartered bus parked outside an Orlando hotel.
Detectives say Champion was hazed by band members following a performance. Witnesses also told emergency dispatchers Champion was vomiting before he was found unresponsive aboard the bus. The medical examiner's office says Champion had bruises to his chest, arms, shoulder and back. His internal bleeding caused him to go into shock, which killed him.
"We can prove participation in hazing and a death. We do not have a blow or a shot or a knife thrust that killed Mr. Champion," Lamar said in the news conference. "It is an aggregation of things, which exactly fit the Florida statute as written by the Legislature."
A conviction for felony hazing could bring up to nearly six years in prison.
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