FAMU band member enters plea deal for hazing death

Shawn Turner is the fifth suspect to enter a plea deal for the killing of drum major, Robert Champion

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A former Florida A&M University band member has agreed to plead no contest to felony hazing in the 2011 death of fellow drum major Robert Champion, averting a pending manslaughter charge.

Prosecutors say 27-year-old Shawn Turner is expected to enter the plea next week. Felony hazing carries a maximum five-year sentence, but the agreement likely would substantially reduce the penalty. Turner's attorney was in court Friday to argue a motion contesting Turner's second-degree manslaughter charge.

Turner is the fifth of more than a dozen accused former FAMU band members to enter pleas. Champion died in November 2011 after collapsing following what prosecutors said was a savage beating during a hazing ritual on a bus parked in an Orlando parking lot. Band members allegedly ran Champion through a gauntlet following a football game.

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