One of the students who allegedly held Robert Champion in a bear hug during a hazing initiation was sentenced Monday (Oct. 22) to six months of community control, two years of supervised probation and 200 hours of community service for his role in the Florida A&M University band member's death.
Bryan Jones, who had previously pleaded not guilty before changing his plea to no contest, was sentenced on a charge of felony hazing resulting in death. The judge said if Jones didn't abide by the sentencing order he would face up to 72 months in a state penitentiary.
Champion died after taking part in a band hazing ritual that eventually led to his death. The ritual, known as crossing the bus, is an initiation process in which pledges attempt to run down the center aisle from the front door of the bus to the back while being punched, kicked and assaulted by senior members, band members have said.
Champion collapsed in Orlando on the bus, which was carrying members of FAMU's Marching 100 after a November football game that included a halftime performance by the group.
The medical examiner's office ruled his death a homicide and said Champion "collapsed and died within an hour of a hazing incident during which he suffered multiple blunt trauma blows to his body." An autopsy found "extensive contusions of his chest, arms, shoulder and back" as well as "evidence of crushing areas of subcutaneous fat."