Developments in hazing death of Florida college student

In previous posts we have discussed the death of a Florida drum major reportedly a result of a hazing ritual which took place after a performance in 2011. The man died after being beaten by many other members of the marching band. The attack took place on a bus that was used to transport the band to the performance location.

Following the man’s death, the parent’s of the 26-year-old victim filed a wrongful death lawsuit against several entities including the bus company and Florida A&M University. That lawsuit contends, in part, that employees of the bus company either knew or should have known what was taking place on the vehicle.

As is common in situations such as this one, that civil lawsuit is not the only legal case existing regarding this matter. Criminal charges have been leveled against 12 of the drum major’s former band mates. Ten of those individuals had previously been charged with third-degree felony hazing. Earlier this month, the additional second-degree manslaughter charges were added and the two new defendants were included.

The victim’s parents are said to be pleased with the recent development. While neither the criminal charges nor the civil lawsuit they filed will undo the harm that was done or bring the young man back, it will likely provide them with some closure regarding the matter.

The wrongful death lawsuit is apparently still pending. We will continue to monitor that case involving the bus company and university and provide updates as they become available.

Source: USA Today, “New charges give hope to parents in FAMU hazing death,” Larry Copeland, March 5, 2013