Robert Champion performs with Florida A&M University's Marching 100 band during halftime of a football game in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 19. Champion died later that day. (Photo: Joseph Brown III, AP)
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Eight defendants who remain charged in the hazing death of a FAMU drum major are set to appear in court for a status hearing on their cases.
They are expected to tell a judge Friday whether they will accept plea offers from the prosecutor or move to trial. Judge Marc Lubet said in August that Friday would be a "drop dead date" to accept those deals, some of which include jail time.
Fifteen former band members were charged with manslaughter and hazing in Robert Champion's November 2011 death.
Six defendants have accepted plea deals that included community service and probation for what prosecutors said were minor roles. A seventh is awaiting sentencing.
Champion died after he collapsed from what prosecutors says was a savage beating during a hazing ritual.