Florida A&M hazing history allowed in death trial; can't say drum major killed was gay

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ORLANDO, Florida — A history of hazing among Florida A&M band members will be allowed to be mentioned in the trial of four ex- members charged in a drum major's hazing death, but the judge says there should be no mention that the man killed was gay.

Fifteen defendants were charged after 26-year-old Robert Champion of Decatur, Georgia, died after undergoing a hazing ritual aboard a band bus.

All but four had their cases settled and the remaining defendants go to trial next week.

Judge Rene Roche on Wednesday agreed with both sides that there should be no mention that Champion was gay.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors agreed that no witness had said that Champion's sexuality played a role in the severity of his hazing.

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