Hazing suspects confess, arrested

FAMU police are still tracking down anyone involved in the hazing of Marching 100 band members.

In November, William Tanelus, a junior from Miami, Carl Edwards, a sophomore from Lithonia, Ga. and Kristopher Mumford, a sophomore from Jacksonville, were arrested and charged with aggravated battery.

Tanelus was accused of hospitalizing Marcus W. Parker, a freshman trumpet player from Jacksonville, last November. Parker spent five days in intensive care when his kidneys failed to function properly. He was released a few days later. Edwards and Mumford were accused of hazing other members of the trumpet section the same night Parker was hospitalized.

According to Lt. Louis Wichers, of the Criminal Investigation Unit for the FAMU Police Department, two more suspects, Jimmy Simmons and Anthony Gamble, also admitted to being involved in the hazing and turned themselves into police over Christmas break.

Simmons, a TCC student from Miami, confessed in his hometown to four counts of aggravated battery for the beating of Parker and other members of the trumpet section. According to FAMUPD, people close to Simmons persuaded him to turn his self in.

Gamble admitted to hazing members of the trumpet section, as well. There were no records, police say, showing he was a FAMU student. Gamble turned himself into the Leon County Jail in December. He confessed to two counts of aggravated battery. It is uncertain if Simmons or Gamble are former or current band members.

If convicted, all suspects could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Justin Green, a junior trumpet player, was also arrested on two counts of aggravated battery. FAMUPD reports that the paddling of Parker, freshman Darian Magee and other band members was held at Green’s apartment.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Parker told police he was struck 20-30 times. Darian Magee told police he was paddled multiple times with a “board-like paddle.”

After the incident, band Director Julian White suspended 18 band members suspected of being involved in the hazing.

All of the other suspects “are making their first appearances in court. They are now moving through the court system, deciding how they will plea for their cases,” Wichers said.

Investigators said there are more suspects, but they “will be tough to find,” and they will not release the names of those suspects, Wichers said.

Anyone with information on the hazing can call 1-800-501-5352. Each call to the tip line is confidential