There was no single blow, stomp or strike to Robert Champion’s bruised and battered body that killed him as he was pummeled by fellow Florida A&M University marching band members during a hazing ritual aboard a charter bus last fall, the Associated Press reports. Instead, his death was caused by multiple blows from many individuals. That inability to pinpoint which blow ultimately caused the 26-year-old drum major’s death led authorities to charge 13 defendants Wednesday with hazing rather than more serious counts like manslaughter or second-degree murder.
“His death is not linked to one sole strike but it is attributed to multiple blows,” said State Attorney Lawson Lamar at a news conference announcing the charges.
Champion’s mother, Pam, said she was glad charges were brought but disappointed they weren’t more severe.
“I thought it should send a harsher message,” she said.