ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Former Florida A&M University marching band member Dante Martin was found guilty Friday of manslaughter for the hazing death of the band's drum major, Robert Champion Jr.
Champion, 26, died Nov. 19, 2011, after a hazing ritual in which he was beaten while aboard a school bus in Orlando after a football game. He sustained multiple blunt force traumas and internal bleeding.
Martin, 27, was accused of being the ringleader in the incident, which resulted in manslaughter charges for a total of 11 people.
"Mr. Martin having been found guilty as charged, you are adjudicated guilty on these counts, on all four counts of the information as charged. You are remanded to the custody of the Orange County sheriff to be taken to the Orange County jail," Circuit Judge Renee Roche said, delivering the jury's verdict.
Martin faces up to 22 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9.
Florida State Attorney Jeff Ashton said the verdict sent a message about the tolerance of hazing.
"I hope this scares people enough to stop it and to realize it's not worth it and just to find better ways to show you belong than hitting people or hurting people or endangering their lives," Ashton told the Orlando Sentinel.
Another band mate, Rikki Wills, Champion's roommate, pleaded no contest earlier this year to a felony charge of hazing resulting in death and first-degree hazing, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to house arrest and probation.