Parents of Hazing Victim 'Appalled' FAMU Blames Son for His Own Death


Hazing Death Victim Responsible for Own Death, FAMU Claims

Hollis said that when he told Champion he was going to participate, Champion "stated to me that he was going to cross as well. I asked him if he were [sic] sure he wanted to do it and he stated, 'Yea, I just want to get it over with.'"

"In the final analysis, neither Mr. Champion, Mr. Hollis, hotel security, nor law enforcement experts...were able to predict or prevent this shocking and depraved hazing incident, and therefore, it would be unfair and illogical to hold FAMU to a different and higher level of omnipotence," the motion states.

The Champions alleged in their lawsuit that the school did not do enough to stop the hazing that was a well-known tradition within the marching band.

"Our whole goal here is to make sure no one else has to go through what we've gone through and in order to do that there needs to be some accountability," Pamela Champion said in July.

The lawsuit also seeks monetary compensation for the Champion family for reasons including "past and future mental pain and suffering," "past and future loss of decedent's support and services," and expenses from medical care and funeral arrangements.

FAMU denied that money is owed to the Champions.

"Respectfully, as a 26 year old adult and leader in FAMU's band, Mr. Champion should have refused to participate in the planned hazing event and reported it to law enforcement or University administrators," the motion says. "Under these circumstances, Florida's taxpayers should not be held financially liable to Mr. Champion's Estate for the ultimate result of his own imprudent, avoidable and tragic decision and death."

Thirteen FAMU band members have been charged in relation to Champion's death. Eleven of the band members face felony hazing charges and the other two face misdemeanor hazing charges. The defendants have pleaded not guilty.

In May, over 2,000 pages of evidence from the investigation into Champion's death were released by the Florida District Attorney's Office, which delivered a blow-by-blow of the events from the night of Robert Champion's death.

Champion endured a lethal pummeling down the aisle of a pitch-black bus that rocked from the force of the violence inside, according to the documents.

Champion struggled, with a female band member holding him back to prolong the punishment, through a gauntlet of band mates who used their fists, feet, straps and sticks to pound him into unconsciousness.

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