ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A former Florida A&M University band member has agreed to plead no contest to felony hazing in the 2011 death of fellow drum major Robert Champion, averting a pending manslaughter charge.
Prosecutors say that 27-year-old Shawn Turner is expected to enter the plea next week. Felony hazing carries a maximum five-year sentence, but the agreement likely would substantially reduce the penalty. Turner's attorney was in court Friday to argue a motion contesting Turner's second-degree manslaughter charge.
Turner is the fifth of more than a dozen accused former FAMU band members to enter pleas. Champion died in November 2011 after collapsing following what prosecutors said was a savage beating during a hazing ritual on a bus parked in an Orlando parking lot. Band members allegedly ran Champion through a gauntlet following a football game.