Florida Supreme Court hears case in FAMU band hazing death

Dante Martin serving 6-year sentence for band member's death


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The lawyer for a former Florida A&M University band member convicted of felony hazing in the death of a bandmate says state law on hazing is vague and shouldn't have been applied in his client's case.

Rupak Shah told the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday that a line in the hazing law makes an exception for "customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions."

He said that exception should apply to Dante Martin, who's serving more than six years in prison in the death of 26-year-old Robert Champion.

Champion was a Marching 100 drum major from Decatur, Georgia, who died after bandmates beat him in a hazing ritual known as "Crossing Bus C."

Supreme Court justices hearing the case seemed skeptical that the exception would apply.