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12 charged with manslaughter in FAMU death

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Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013 2:52 pm | Updated: 5:57 pm, Wed Jul 24, 2013.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Prosecutors are charging 12 former Florida A&M University band members with manslaughter in the 2011 hazing death of a drum major.

Ten of the band members had been charged last May with felony hazing for the death of 26-year-old Robert Champion, but prosecutors said Monday they are raising the charges to manslaughter. They also have charged two additional defendants with manslaughter.

Champion died in Orlando in November 2011 after he collapsed following what prosecutors say was a savage beating during a hazing ritual. It happened on a bus parked in a hotel parking lot after Florida A&M played Bethune-Cookman in their annual rivalry football game.

Authorities say Champion had bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back and died of internal bleeding. Witnesses told emergency dispatchers that the drum major was vomiting before he was found unresponsive aboard the bus.

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