12 Charged in Hazing Death of Florida A&M Drum Major

Robert Champion died in 2011 after what prosecutors say was a brutal beating during a hazing ritual

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    AP-FILE
    In this file photo from October 2011, Florida A&M Marching 100 Drum Major Robert Champion performed during a halftime performance. Champion died soon thereafter, following a hazing ritual in which prosecutors say he was brutally beaten. After prosecutors charged 13 people last year with felony hazing, they raised the charges against 10 of those defendants to manslaughter on Monday and charged another two new defendants with manslaughter, too.

    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.

    For full U.S. news coverage, visit NBCNews.com.

    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.