Robert Champion Hazing Case: Judge sets October trial for Florida A&M suspects

Florida A&M Marching 100 Drum Major Robert Champion during a performance at halftime of the game against Howard University at Bragg Memorial Stadium on Oct. 8, 2011 in Tallahassee, Florida. Champion became ill and died after a game on November 19, 2011.
AP Photo/Don Juan Moore
Florida A&M "Marching" 100 drum major Robert Champion on the field during a performance on Oct. 8, 2011 in Tallahassee, Florida.
AP Photo/Don Juan Moore

(CBS/AP) ORLANDO, Fla. - A judge has set an October trial date for the 11 marching band members charged with felony hazing in the death of 26-year-old Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion.

Pictures: Florida A&M hazing case

Circuit Judge Marc Lubet set the Oct. 8 date during an arraignment hearing. However, an attorney for one of the former band members said Thursday the trial likely won't start until next year, though, because of the the number of defendants and witnesses who need to be interviewed.

"Given the amount of discovery, and everything that needs to be done in this case, and the number of defendants, it will be difficult for the case to be ready for trial at that date," said Craig Brown, an attorney for defendant Aaron Golson. "There is a lot that has to be gone through."

A list filed by prosecutors last month shows almost 85 potential witnesses for the trial.

Only defendant Shawn Turner was in court today because he had not hired an attorney. He was appointed a public defender. Most of the other defendants waived their appearances.

Champion died in November of 2011 following what authorities have said was hazing on a bus after FAMU's football game in Orlando.

Champion's death exposed a wide culture of hazing at the school, specifically in the famed "Marching 100"  band. Critics say FAMU president James Ammons and other administrators ignored the hazing.

Complete coverage of the Florida A&M hazing case on Crimesider