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Ex-FAMU Band Member Facing Jail in Hazing Death

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A former Florida A&M band member could become the first to be sentenced to jail time for his role in the hazing death of a drum major.

Jessie Baskin faces nine years when sentenced Friday for participating in the beating death of Robert Champion in November 2011 during a hazing ritual aboard a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel.

Champion — originally from Decatur, Ga. — collapsed and died after prosecutors said he walked down the aisle of a bus as other band members beat him with fists and instruments.

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton described the 22-year-old Baskin as being "most-consistently identified as the most enthusiastic" band member in the hazing ritual.

Baskin pleaded no contest to manslaughter, though his attorneys can argue for a lighter punishment.

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