FAMU Band Member Sentenced To 2-Years’ Probation In Drum Major’s Hazing Death

Many times, college students commit crimes out of foolishness, thinking the consequences will not find them; however, many learn a lesson via probation. However, those actively on probation run the risk of being arrested and convicted for violations of that probation, whether they are guilty or not. If one is facing a probation related charge, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to The West-Orlando News Online, Judge Marc Lubet sentenced 23-year-old Brian Jones to two years probation, including 6 months of community control, for his role in the hazing death of Robert Champion. Jones is the first of 11 defendants charged with felony hazing in the death of a Florida A&M University drum major. Jones must also attend an anti-hazing class for several hours. Jones, who initially entered a not guilty plea, subsequently pled ‘no contest.’ brian-jones-240x300.jpeg

When the law authorizes the placing of the offender on Jacksonville probation, and when the defendant’s offense is punishable by both fine and imprisonment, the trial court may, at its discretion, impose a fine upon one and place one on probation or into community control as an alternative to imprisonment.

If it appears to the court upon a hearing that the accused is not likely to engage in further criminal conduct and that the ends of justice and that the welfare of society do not require that the defendant presently suffer the penalty imposed by law, the court, in its discretion, may either find the accused to be guilty or stay and withhold the adjudication of guilt.

In either case, the court shall stay and withhold the imposition of sentence upon the defendant and shall place a felony defendant upon probation. If the defendant is found guilty of a non-felony offense as the result of a trial or entry of a plea of guilty or no contest plea, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld, the court may place the offender on probation. In addition to court costs and fees, the court may impose a fine authorized by law if the offender is a non-felony offender who is not placed on probation.

When one is granted probation, one will have certain requirements to complete in order to not violate their probation. Some of these requirements include:

- Reporting to a probation or parole supervisor as directed.
- Permitting such supervisors to visit one at one’s home or elsewhere.
- Working faithfully at suitable employment insofar as may be possible.
- Remaining within a specified place.
- Living without violating any law. A criminal conviction is not necessary for such a violation of law to constitute a violation of probation, community control, or any other form of court-ordered supervision.

In many situations like this one, the court may require the offender to pay restitution payments to victims. In this particular case, Jones’ actions, though not deadly, played a hand in the mind of the court in the victim’s death, and therefore might be seen as a reason to play a hand in restitution fines, which he may not be able to pay, causing a possibility of being arrested for a probation violation. With the help of an experienced Jacksonville probation violations defense attorney, one could persuade the Judge to render alternative punishments that would involve counseling, house arrest or a slightly longer probation, making one’s time in the criminal system smoother and more beneficial for all involved.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require aJacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: FAMU Band Member gets Probation in Robert Champion’s Hazing Death, West Orlando News Online