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The family of Robert Champion, the drum major for the Florida A&M who was hazed to death back in 2011, has finally received some justice.
One of the people involved in his death was sentenced to one year behind bars this week. According to reports, Jessie Baskin was ordered to serve 51 weeks in the county jail, five years of probation and 300 hours of community service for his role in the 26-year-old’s murder.
“I’ve sentenced a hundred people to life in prison. This is one of the hardest sentences that I’ve ever had to deal with,” Judge Marc Lubet said during the three-hour hearing. “No matter what I do, I can’t bring Robert Champion back.”
Baskin also took a moment to offer a tearful apology to Champion’s parents, who traveled from Georgia.
“Nobody ever intended for this to happen,” he said in a wailing voice. “We know Robert and he was a good man. I apologize that this happened and I apologize that I was a part of it.
“I’m not over it. It has affected me too. Robert was a good man and we know that,” he added. “We did not intend for this to happen.”
Baskin and 14 other members of the Marching 100 band were charged with manslaughter or hazing resulting in death, which are both felonies.
According to Orlando Sentinel, “The seven band members who have already been sentenced received probation and community service. Charges were dismissed against one and another is awaiting sentencing. The five remaining co-defendants are awaiting trial.”
The 26-year-old drum major was bludgeoned to death on Nov. 19 after a hazing ritual known as “Crossing Bus C,” which involves running from the front to the back of a bus while being beaten. The unfortunate event took place after the 2011 Florida Classic football game between FAMU and Bethune-Cookman University.