Sunday, March 16, 2014

Charges dropped charges against former band member in Champion case

Prosecutors have dropped charges against one of the remaining defendants in the hazing death of Robert Champion.   

Henry Nesbitt had faced manslaughter and hazing charges until the state attorney notified the court Friday that they would not pursue prosecution of those alleged crimes, according to Orange County court documents and published reports.
“Henry Nesbitt was the one person who was there who snatched someone’s cellphone and called 911 for Mr. Champion,” Nesbitt’s attorney, Zachary White, said Saturday. “The evidence shows that he wasn’t on the bus at the time when any of the activities were going on.”
White said there was a lack of evidence for prosecutors to move forward with a case against Nesbitt.

Nesbitt didn’t reach a plea agreement with prosecutors, and he remains on the state’s witness list to potentially testify at the trial of the remaining defendants, White said.
“He just believed that Robert Champion’s parents deserved to know what happened to their child,” White said. “He was someone who would try to help.”
A trial of other former FAMU band members is scheduled for the period starting June 9.
Of the 15 former band members who were charged with hazing and manslaughter in Champion’s death, seven have been sentenced to probation and community service. Two other defendants have pleaded no contest to manslaughter and await sentencing.

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