A circuit judge in Orange County, Fla., sentenced a former member of Florida A&M University’s marching band to one year in jail for the death of a drum major during a hazing ritual.
Jessie Baskin, 22, is the first of several students to be sentenced for the crime of college hazing and causing the 2011 death of Robert Champion after a football game.
Baskin pleaded no contest to a manslaughter charge.
Champion collapsed and died after he was forced to walk the length of a bus parked outside a hotel while several bandmates kicked, punched and hit him with their instruments.
Prosecutor Jeff Ashton claimed Baskin was the most enthusiastic of the bunch, based on witness testimony, actively kicking Champion during the walk.
Baskin cried in court as friends and family begged Circuit Judge Marc Lubet for leniency on the sentence, but Lubet said Baskin needed to pay for what he did, according to WFTV-TV.
The defendant faced up to nine years in prison, but Lubet decided on a sentence of one year in jail as well as five years of probation and community service once Baskin is released, the TV station reported.
He will also pay a $3,000 fine.
Champion was a native of Decatur, Ga. His death led to the season-long suspension of the marching band, banning it from playing at games, as well as the resignation of university officials.
Source: NY Daily News