Charges dropped against defendant in FAMU hazing death trial



ORLANDO, Fla. - WFTV learned one of the former Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University band members, who was charged with manslaughter in the death of drum major Robert Champion, is no longer facing charges.

Prosecutors dropped the case against Henry Nesbitt Friday, for what his lawyer said was a lack of evidence.

He will still serve as a state witness in the June trial for the five remaining defendants accused in the hazing death of Champion at the Florida Classic in Orlando in 2011.

Nesbitt was among 15 former band members arrested after Champion’s death following a hazing ritual. He’s the one who called 911 when he found Champion unconscious on a tour bus outside an Orange County hotel.

“He’s in my hands ma’am. He’s cold. He’s in my hands,” he told the dispatcher.

Nesbitt’s lawyer said prosecutors made the right decision.

“You know it’s something we had hoped for all along and so, I know he’s elated about it and he’s very thankful,” Zach White said.

Nesbitt could have spent years in prison if he was convicted at trial.

He was kicked out of school a few courses shy of graduation and White said Nesbitt is now ready to move forward.

“Obviously he’d like to finish up his degree and move forward with his life,” White said.

The remaining five defendants are facing felony charges.

Champion’s parents vowed to return from Atlanta for the June trial.

Eight other defendants charged in connection with Champion’s death have already cut deals with prosecutors.