Suspect in FAMU hazing death files written plea

AP News
Posted: May 21, 2013 1:31 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The attorney for the last of the suspects charged in the death of a Florida A&M University drum major during a hazing ritual says his client won't have to appear for an arraignment because he already entered a written not guilty plea.

Darryl Cearnel was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in state court in Orlando. But attorney Anthony Britt says the previously entered plea satisfies that process.

Cearnel was charged with manslaughter and felony hazing in March.

Most of the other dozen defendants facing charges in the case were charged last year.

Prosecutors say Robert Champion, who was from Decatur, Ga., collapsed and died after walking down a gantlet of other band members who beat him with fists and instruments on a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel in November 2011.