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FAMU Hazing Trial Underway in Orlando

The trial of a former Florida A&M band member charged with hazing in the death of drum major Robert Champion is underway in Orlando. Opening arguments are expected to begin Tuesday.

Dante Martin pleaded not guilty in the death of Champion, but prosecutors say a band hazing ritual was responsible for his death. The trial is expected to last about one week. Some jurors were excused for medical reasons, midterm exams and another for pre-planned vacations.

Judge Roche delayed the trial for three other defendants. Their attorneys asked for a delay to interview more witnesses after new charges were filed by State Attorney Jeff Ashton.

Champion died after being beaten on board a bus in Orlando in November 2011. His death led to a year-long suspension of FAMU’s band.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »