1st defendant in FAMU hazing case to be sentenced

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by Laura Matovina

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The first of a dozen defendants charged in last year's hazing death of a Florida A&M drum major will be sentenced on a third-degree felony charge.

Judge Marc Lubet will sentence Brian Jones on Monday. The 23-year-old entered a no-contest plea Oct. 9 after initially pleading not guilty.

In agreeing to the plea deal, Lubet said Jones' role in the hazing death of Robert Champion was relatively minimal. Lubet said Jones did not beat or hit Champion.

Champion died in November after being beaten by fellow band members during a hazing ritual aboard a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel after a football game.

Eleven other FAMU band members face felony hazing charges. Another band member faces a misdemeanor count for hazing.

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