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Lawyer says man charged in FAMU hazing death will plead guilty, cooperate with prosecutors

A man charged in the hazing death of a Florida A&M drum major is going to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors, his attorney said Friday.

Caleb Jackson will plead guilty to felony hazing and manslaughter as soon as April, attorney Chuck Hobbs said at a hearing at the Orange County Courthouse.

Jackson currently is being held in the Leon County Jail for violating his probation.

Drum major Robert Champion died in November 2011 in Orlando after he collapsed following what prosecutors say was a savage beating during a hazing ritual. A dozen former Florida A&M band members have been charged with manslaughter and felony hazing.

"He has two hopes, the first being able to help the state with respect to understanding and getting a clearer picture of what happened the night Robert Champion died," Hobbs said. "He is hopeful that he can play some small part in bringing closure to the family."

Hobbs said no promises or guarantees have been made by prosecutors regarding Jackson's cooperation.

"It would be his hope that by cooperating, such would bode well when it comes time for his sentencing," Hobbs said.

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