Yesha Callahan

FAMU Band Member Sentenced To A Year In Jail For Hazing Death

jessie baskin

 

Last year, twelve former Florida A&M University band members were charged with manslaughter in the 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. Ten of the band members were charged last May with felony hazing, but the prosecutors in the case raised the charges to manslaughter and added two additional defendants.

Champion, 26, died after being beaten on a school bus after a football game in Orlando, Florida. The beating was part of a hazing ritual, and required pledges to run down the center of the bus while being punched and kicked by other band members.  Authorities say Champion had bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back and died of internal bleeding within an hour of the beating. Witnesses told emergency dispatchers that the drum major was vomiting before he was found unresponsive aboard the bus.

Jessie Baskin, 22,  who pleaded no contest to manslaughter in November, was sentenced to a year in jail and five years probation today for manslaughter.

State Attorney Jeff Ashton described Baskin as “the one person who is most consistently identified as the most enthusiastic participant” in the hazing — landing “blows with hands and feet.”

Judge Marc Lubet says he thought the 22-year-old Baskin was remorseful and hoped a year in jail will get the word out that “hazing will not be tolerated.”  The remaining suspects are awaiting trial.

 

 

  1. March 28, 2014 - Reply

    One year is very minor for a death. The time frame is so minor, that I fear that Baskin may not actually learn anything from his punishment.

    The justice system gives people multiple years for drugs, but if you kill someone you might get a slap on the wrist.

  2. March 28, 2014 - Reply

    Robert Champion was complicient in the hazing ritual and almost assuredly hazed others. Sadly, he passed in the process.

    Mr. Champion had unclean hands and I do not empathize with him. Hate that he is gone, but he was a part of it.

    Feel free to dislike

  3. March 28, 2014 - Reply

    Robert Champion was complicit in the hazing ritual and almost assuredly hazed others. Sadly, he passed in the process.

    Mr. Champion had unclean hands and I do not empathize with him. Hate that he is gone, but he was a part of it.

    Feel free to dislike

    • March 30, 2014 - Reply

      @1Love

      Wasn’t Champion a freshmen? If so, he was not yet in a position to haze anyone when he died.

  4. March 28, 2014 - Reply

    What I’m tripping on is why does colleges allow the bands to have their own fraternity or sorority? But let it be known that he should have more than a year.

    • March 29, 2014 - Reply

      @African Woman

      Band fraternities have been around for years, just as much as any other organization. Let it be known that a lot of organizations have been accused of hazing, so this is not a band issue, but a hazing one.

  5. March 29, 2014 - Reply

    Getting hit in the face and subjecting oneself to being brutalized is just insane in my opinion, just so you can play an instrument. I’m sorry this is crazy to me. Just because one wants to belong to a certain group. I wonder what kind of psychological and sociological studies who say about this subject? It just nuts to me.

    • March 29, 2014 - Reply

      @mary burrell

      I don’t understand it either, Mary. If we’re supposed to be a team or a group i.e. one cohesive unit, how does the group beating and terrorizing new recruits cultivate togetherness? Do you really need to tear someone else down before they become a ‘real’ team member? The whole thing reeks of barbarism.

  6. March 30, 2014 - Reply

    @anthony he was a 26 year old senior.
    It’s hard to blame the individual when hazing has been the culture if the band for years. I blame the school more for not having harsher punishment.

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