ORLANDO, Fla. – Twelve former Florida A&M University band members were charged Monday with manslaughter in the 2011 hazing death of a drum major.
Ten of the band members had been charged last May with third-degree felony hazing for the death of 26-year-old Robert Champion, but the state attorney’s office said they are adding the charge of manslaughter for each defendant. They also have charged two additional defendants with manslaughter, though they have yet to be arrested.
The second-degree manslaughter charge announced during an afternoon status hearing carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
Champion died in Orlando in November 2011 when he collapsed after what prosecutors say was a savage beating during a hazing ritual. It happened on a bus parked in a hotel parking lot after Florida A&M played Bethune-Cookman in their annual rivalry football game.
Casey Anthony in court for bankruptcy
Appearing in public for the first time since she was acquitted of murder, Casey Anthony revealed that she doesn’t have a job or a car, lives with friends and relies on unsolicited gift cards and cash to get by.
I guess you could say I’m living free off the kindness of others, Anthony said at a bankruptcy hearing in Tampa.
Anthony, 26, was acquitted of murder in July 2011 in the death of her daughter, Caylee. She was released from jail several days later and disappeared from the spotlight. At the time, she had been vilified online and elsewhere, and her attorneys said threats had been made against her.
Anthony filed for bankruptcy in January, claiming about $1,000 in assets and $792,000 in liabilities.
Gun limits advance in emotional state
Firearm restrictions pitched by Colorado Democrats advanced Monday, as the battle over them intensified with hundreds of gun rights supporters cramming the state Capitol and circling the building all day with car horns blaring.
Inside, the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords urged lawmakers to pass universal background checks and victims of mass shootings in Connecticut and a suburban Denver movie theater pleaded for more gun controls.
Lawmakers are considering plans that would limit ammunition magazines to 15 rounds and expand background checks to include private sales and online purchases.
Both measures cleared Democratic-controlled committees on 3-2 party-line votes.
Close aviation calls up, reviewers down
U.S. aviation regulators don’t have enough investigators to examine close calls in the skies, which have risen more than 50 percent since 2009, according to a report by the Transportation Department’s Inspector General.
Even as air-traffic errors that bring planes too close together have jumped, the Federal Aviation Administration has reduced the number of employees reviewing these safety cases, the report found.
The report is the latest to examine the surge in errors that let planes get too close, also known as a loss of separation. Those errors rose 53 percent in fiscal 2010 compared with 2009, to 1,887 from 1,234. There were 1,895 controller errors in 2011.
The FAA has maintained that most of the rise is due to improved reporting and not an actual increase in the risks of mid-air or runway collisions.
Malaysia fires on Filipino intruders
Malaysian security forces using fighter jets attacked nearly 200 Filipino intruders early today to end the armed group’s three-week violent occupation of a Borneo village that became the country’s biggest security crisis in years.
Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed the assault was launched Tuesday morning after clashes in Malaysia’s eastern Sabah state this past week killed eight policemen. He had earlier declared that security forces were authorized to take any action deemed necessary.
The main group of intruders comprises members of a Philippine Muslim clan, some bearing rifles and grenade launchers, who slipped past naval patrols last month, landed at a remote Malaysian coastal village in Sabah’s Lahad Datu district and insisted the territory was theirs.
Police, military at odds in Egypt unrest
Clashes between protesters and the police in the restive Egyptian city of Port Said that entered their second day Monday have dragged the military to a dramatic extent into the nation’s turmoil.
Friction has arisen between police battling protesters and army forces trying to break up the fighting. Troops between the two sides were overwhelmed by police tear gas, one army colonel was wounded by live fire, and troops even opened fire over the heads of police, bringing cheers from protesters.
Three policemen and three civilians were killed in the fighting, and troops stood by as protesters torched a government complex Monday that contains the city’s main police building.