FAMU Hazing Sentence Merciful, Judge Says Defendant’s Life Would Be Destroyed By Jailtime
The FAMU hazing sentence handed down yesterday in the case concerning the death of 26-year-old FAMU student Robert Champion was easy on the defendant, 23-year-old Brian Jones, and the judge says he hopes that Jones will go on to make something of his life following the hazing tragedy.
The FAMU hazing sentence, on which we reported yesterday, was the first to come after the November 19 death of Champion of hemorrhagic shock following blunt force trauma. Champion’s death was a result of hazing during a rite FAMU students called “crossing Bus C,” on a bus outside a Florida hotel during an incident in which the victim was assaulted with both fists and objects including drumsticks.
Jones’ FAMU hazing sentence was the first among the 12 students who were arrested in connection with Champion’s hazing death last year, and Orange County Circuit Court Judge Marc L. Lubet conceded the student’s role in the deadly hazing ritual was “relatively minor” compared with others.
During the first FAMU hazing sentence hearing, Lubet told Jones he thinks that the student’s life is “worth saving,” and the judge said:
“I could, if I chose to, right now destroy this man’s life. I could destroy this man’s life right this minute … If you continue to live your life the way you did in the past, you will be a wonderful and productive citizen of the community. I would like to see that happen.”
Another factor Lubet considered in the FAMU hazing sentence was that prior to Champion’s death, Jones had never been in trouble with the law. Further FAMU hazing sentences are not expected until 2013.