Two charged in FAMU hazing case get house arrest, probation - Fox 2 News Headlines

Two charged in FAMU hazing case get house arrest, probation

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Rikki Wills was sentenced to one year of house arrest and five years probation. Rikki Wills was sentenced to one year of house arrest and five years probation.
Orange County Judge Marc Lubet sentenced Shawn Turner to 18 months of house arrest and three years probation. Orange County Judge Marc Lubet sentenced Shawn Turner to 18 months of house arrest and three years probation.
Pamela Champion address Rikki Wells before his sentencing. Pamela Champion address Rikki Wells before his sentencing.
Orange County Judge Donald Myers sentenced Rikki Wells to one year of house arrest and five years probation. Orange County Judge Donald Myers sentenced Rikki Wells to one year of house arrest and five years probation.
Shawn Turner addresses the Champions before being sentenced to 18 months of house arrest and three years probation. Shawn Turner addresses the Champions before being sentenced to 18 months of house arrest and three years probation.
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

Rikki Wills, the roommate of the Florida A&M drum major who died after undergoing a hazing ritual in 2011, won't spend any time in jail for his role in the death, and neither will fellow drum major Shawn Turner.

Both Wills and Turner previously pleaded no contest to felony hazing charges in connection with Robert Champion's death aboard a bus in Orlando.  The two were sentenced in Orange County on Friday.  Wills will serve one year of house arrest and five years probation.  Turner will serve 18 months of house arrest and three years probation.

Champion's parents, Robert Sr. and Pamela, traveled from their home in Georgia to Orlando for the sentencings.

"I don't have any hatred," said Pamela Champion, who spoke for about 25 minutes before Wills was sentenced, most of the time looking directly at him.  "It hurts more than anything to know how much my son loved me, how much he would do anything to help anyone," she said, "and the person that he shared a living quarters with wouldn't reach out to him."

Champion, 26, died following a football game in November 2011. He collapsed following what prosecutors say was a savage beating on a bus parked outside a hotel.  An autopsy showed bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back.  Prosecutors said both Wills and Turner were on that bus. 

"He put out a lot of love for that band and for the band members," said Pamela. "It's just unfortunate that the band members that are involved didn't do the same."

She questioned why Wills never contacted the family, especially when they went to Tallahassee to collect her son's belongings.

"The whole time I was there, you never acknowledged me," she said. "You never walked over to me, said one word. You never looked in my direction. You never said anything at all."

William Hancock, Will's attorney, said he ordered Wills not to have contact with the family. He allowed his client to say a few words to them in the courtroom.

"I just want to say to the family that I am very sorry for the loss of your son," said Wills.

Afterwards, Pamela told FOX 35 that she wanted to say something to Wills that would affect him.  "I prayed that I would say something that would make a difference," she said.

Later, the Champions were given the opportunity to speak to Turner before his sentencing by another judge.  Pamela said Turner had a responsibility to be truthful about the events which led to her son's death and to let others know about the dangers of bullying.

"Unfortunately, you have to get up everyday, knowing what you have witnessed," she told him. "You have been given an opportunity.  There are other people standing around, watching to see what's going to happen."

"I think about my son quite a bit," said Robert, Sr. "What would he be doing now?"

Turner was allowed to address the Champions, telling them that he thinks about their son everyday.  "Just know that I fully understand the emotions that you have felt," he said, adding, "I am tremendously apologetic for the tragedy that has happened."

In addition to the house arrest and probation, Judge Donald Myers is requiring Wills to attend a hazing class, to testify before former band mates, and to send a full apology to the Champions.

Turner will also be required to attend a hazing class.  During his sentencing, Judge Marc Lubet instructed him not to have contact with the co-defendants in the case or with the Champions, unless the Champions wanted to meet.

The Champions said that now is the time to focus on one thing, which is to end a culture of hazing so that no other family feels their pain.

"We just want to say enough is enough," said Robert, Sr. "Hazing's got to quit."

 

Some information taken from wire reports.

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