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Jury deliberations begin in the 2011 hazing ritual beating death of Florida A&M drum major

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ORLANDO, Florida — Deliberations have begun in the manslaughter and hazing trial of a former Florida A&M band member charged in the death of a drum major. 

Judge Renee Roche sent the jury out to deliberate Friday afternoon. 

Dante Martin is charged with manslaughter and hazing in the 2011 death of 26-yearold Robert Champion, of Decatur, Georgia. Champion died after being pummeled by other band members with fists and band instruments in a hazing ritual known as "crossing Bus C" aboard a parked bus following a football game. 

The 27-year-old Martin faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. 

Prosecutors argued earlier Friday that Martin was the organizer of the ritual. Defense attorneys said what happened aboard the bus was a competition and exempt from the hazing law. 

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