ATLANTA (WAOK/AP)-Almost six months ago Pam and Robert Champion received the news all parents dread. Robert Champion, Jr. had died while away at school. Robert Champion, then 26, was a drum major for one of the top marching bands in this country, the Florida A and M Marching 100.
As details about their son’s death surfaced, the Champions were horrified to learn that Robert had been beaten to death by fellow band members during a hazing incident following a football game. Now more than five months later, the Champions have learned that thirteen FAMU students will face charges in their sons death. No one will however be charged with murder.
Pam and Robert Champion joined their attorney Christopher Chestnut today and spoke to reporters about the charges filed. The Champions say the investigation was botched which allowed the person or persons responsible for murdering their son to face less serious charges.
The Champions say the school should do whatever it can to halt hazing in the band program and one way to do that is to disband the Marching 100 until further notice. FAMU has suspended the marching band and set up a task force on curtailing hazing.
Pam Champion says “You’ve got to clean house. That’s the only thing.”
Eleven of the thirteen suspects were charged with felony hazing, while two others face misdemeanor counts.