Former A&M band members charged with manslaughter

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 in the death of 26-year-old Robert Champion, but the state attorney’s office said it is adding the charge of manslaughter for each defendant. Two additional defendants were charged with manslaughter, although they have yet to be arrested.

Champion died in Orlando in November 2011 after he collapsed after what prosecutors say was a savage beating during a hazing ritual. It happened on a bus in a hotel parking lot after Florida A&M played Bethune-Cookman in their annual rivalry football game.

Authorities said Champion had bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back and died of internal bleeding. Witnesses told emergency dispatchers that the drum major was vomiting before he was found unresponsive aboard the bus.


Queen Elizabeth II released after treatment for infection

Queen Elizabeth II returned home Monday after receiving treatment for a stomach infection that prompted a brief and rare hospitalization for the 86-year-old monarch.

A smiling Elizabeth walked unassisted out of King Edward VII Hospital, bidding farewell to staff outside. She was then driven away in a motorcade.

The palace said she suffered from symptoms of gastroenteritis.

Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach, the intestine, or both, and it is generally caused either by food poisoning or the norovirus, a common winter bug that affects several hundred thousand Britons every year but which is rarely dangerous.

The queen canceled engagements for this week due to the illness, but she could be back to work by next week.


First competitor dies during ‘Escape from Alcatraz’ event

For the first time in its 33-year history, a participant in the world-renowned “Escape from Alcatraz” triathlon died during the event.

Ross Ehlinger, 46, died Sunday during the swim portion of the event held in frigid San Francisco Bay amid 6-foot swells and a powerful outgoing tide, raising questions about what effect the tough conditions had on his death. This year’s event was held Sunday rather than in June to accommodate the America’s Cup sailing race.

The answer appears to be that the father of three from Austin, Texas, may have had an underlying health problem exposed in an especially grueling triathlon.

The San Francisco medical examiner is still investigating the cause of death.


Jury convicts Muslim cleric of supporting terrorism

An elderly Muslim cleric was convicted Monday of funneling thousands of dollars to support the Pakistani Taliban terror organization, which is blamed for suicide bombings and other attacks that have killed both Americans and Pakistanis.

The jury returned its verdict after the two-month trial of Hafiz Khan, the 77-year-old imam at a downtown Miami mosque. Khan was found guilty of all four charges: two conspiracy counts and two counts of providing material support to terrorists.

“Despite being an imam, or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was by no means a man of peace,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer, whose office prosecuted the case. “Instead, he acted with others to support terrorists to further acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming.”

Each charge carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence. U.S. District Judge Robert Scola set sentencing for May 30.

Prosecutors built their case largely around hundreds of FBI recordings of conversations in which Khan expressed support for Taliban attacks and discussed sending about $50,000 to Pakistan.

There were also recordings in which Khan appeared to back the overthrow of Pakistan’s government in favor of strict Islamic law, praised the killing of American military personnel and lauded the failed 2010 attempt to detonate a bomb in New York’s Times Square.