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Charges Dismissed Against Defendant in Fla. College Band Hazing

Image: Florida A&M Marching 100 Band;
Florida A&M Marching 100 Band during the game against Delaware State Hornets at Bragg Memorial Stadium on Oct. 1, 2011 in Tallahassee, Fla.Don Juan Moore / ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Charges are off the table for one of the former Florida A&M University band members initially implicated in a hazing ritual that killed another band member.

The state is dismissing manslaughter and felony hazing charges against Henry Nesbitt, his attorney, Zachary White, told NBC News on Saturday.

Nesbitt had called 911 during a November 2011 hazing ritual that led to band member Robert Champion's death, authorities said. Witnesses, however, said Nesbitt was not heavily involved in the hazing, The Associated Press reported.

"We were hopeful all along that there was a lack of evidence there against Mr. Nesbitt," White said.

Fifteen band members were charged with punching, kicking and striking Champion, 26, during a ritual known as "Crossing Bus C," which led him to collapse. Seven former band members have been sentenced to probation and community service and two have pleaded no contest to manslaughter.

The shocking hazing death grabbed national headlines and led to the band's temporary suspension.

Nesbitt is still on the state's witness list, and his attorney says he may still have to testify.

"There was no deal or backroom deal, no agreement," his attorney said.

In September 2013, almost two years after Champion's death, FAMU band members had their first performance back on the football field.

ā€” Alessandra Malito

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