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Robert Champion death trials commence again

Here is the Link

 

Excerpt:

The defendants — Benjamin McNamee, 24; Aaron Golson, 22; and Darryl Cearnel, 28; are being tried together and each face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Known as “Crossing Bus C,” the ritual required band members to make their way through a pounding gauntlet of fists, drumsticks and mallets from the front of the bus to the back. Two other band members — Lissette Sanchez and Keon Hollis — went through the bus before Champion, and survived.

A total of 15 former band members were charged with manslaughter. One, Jessie Baskin, served one year in county jail. Others plea bargained for probation and community service. The band itself was suspended for more than a year while officials tried to clean up the program.

Dante Martin, now 27 and serving a six-year term for felony hazing and manslaughter, is the only former band member to receive prison time the death of Champion.

Martin’s attorneys told his jurors that there was no actual hazing, likening the ritual to a “competition” in which Champion and the others voluntarily took part.

But state attorney Jeff Ashton said testimony made it clear that band members were looking for a measure of respect and acceptance by “crossing Bus C,” and that their willing participation was “not a defense” for those who were charged.

 

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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