Robert Champion's Death Ruled a Homicide: Now What?

           An article that appeared two days ago in the Orlando Sentinel reported that an autopsy performed on Florida A & M drum major Robert Champion concluded that his death was a homicide.  But what type of homicide will those responsible for his death ultimately be charged with?  first degree murder?  second degree murder?   third degree murder?  manslaughter?


          My guess is that they may likely be charged with the crime of manslaughter which Florida law defines as "[t]he killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification . . . and in cases in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder."


           In the case of Darrin Terranova versus the State of Florida, Mr. Terranova was charged with committing the crimes of manslaughter and aggravated battery after beating another individual who ultimately died from his injuries.  Because Robert Champion also died after being beaten, it may be the case that those responsible for his death will be charged with the same offenses that Terranova was charged with and convicted of.

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