WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
CLOSEOpt Out: I already like WMFE!

Like us on Facebook!

Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Former Band Member Gets 6-Year Sentence in FAMU Hazing Death

Play Audio
Robert Champion

Former FAMU bandmember Robert Champion died after a hazing ritual in Orlando in 2011.

A former Florida A&M University band member has been sentenced to more than six years in prison in the 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion.

Dante Martin was convicted last October of manslaughter and hazing.

In Orlando Friday he was sentenced to 77 months jail.

Martin’s attorneys had asked for leniency because they said Champion voluntarily participated in the ritual that led to his death.

During the hearing Martin took to the stand to apologize to the Champion family.

“Sometimes in life we just go with what is tradition,” said Martin. “We don’t second-guess it. We don’t doubt it.”

Champion died during a ritual known as, “Crossing Bus C.” It involved facing a gauntlet of band members on a bus who beat him with belts, mallets and drum sticks.

After the hearing Pam Champion said she would continue seeking justice for her son.

“But to be perfectly honest with you I don’t expect it,” she said. “So my focus now is trying to help other parents and mothers and families that have to deal with what we’re dealing with to stop it.”

Martin was one of 15 former band members charged. Most have had their cases settled. Three more face trial this year.

Martin’s attorneys say they plan to appeal.

Sign Up For 90.7 WMFE's Newsletter

Catch up on the latest Central Florida news and get updates on programs, events and more.


WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »