Former student of teacher in coma after stabbing speaks

By: Diane Cho Email
By: Diane Cho Email

News 12 at Six O'Clock, June 1, 2007.

Augusta, GA---It was more than seven years ago when a Murphey Middle School student brutally stabbed his teacher. The attack sent Gail Hendrick into a coma from which she would never recover.

There's not a year, a day or a moment that passes, when Denver Champion doesn't think about his former teacher. "She was an inspiration," he said. Denver, now 21-years-old was only 14 when the unthinkable happened. On November 22 1999 his teacher, Gail Hendrick, was found lying in a pool of blood near the special education classroom's bathroom, after fellow classmate, 14-year-old David Drayton pushed her to the floor and stabbed her 70 times with a pair of scissors. Doctors said gail would never be the same again. "She was the first special ed teacher I had she was amazing, I loved her a lot and I still do," Champion said. His mother, Darlene, says when Denver was hospitalized for three months undergoing eight back to back brain surgeries Gail was always by his side.

"She came to see him all the time, she took him his school work so he wouldn't fall behind," she said. "Her kids were her school kids." But it was her own student, she named as her attacker. The coroner says after seven years Gail died from delayed complications from the multiple stab wounds. Denver's mother says she's known for the last two weeks their days with Gail, were numbered. "I prepared Denver for it but I couldn't bring myself to see her because we didn't want to remember her that way," she said.

Even though seven years have now come and gone, Champion says his anger hasn't subsided for Gail's killer and his own friend. Now that Drayton could face more charges he says he wants the punishment to fit the crime.
"Honestly with that crime I think he needs life that's what I want to happen," he said.

District Attorney Danny Craig tells news 12 it would be inappropriate at this time to comment on possible future charges for Drayton.


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  • by Anonymous on Jun 28, 2007 at 02:57 PM
    David announced to his friends prior to the incident that he was going to hurt his teacher. I have this on info from my students who knew the killer. This was premeditated. She was a wonderful teacher. It sickens me that someone would imply that she was with him in the bathroom. This student was able to stand up by his wheelchair on his own. He stood and stabbed her, he stabbed her 70 times. Stop posting your lies.
  • by Ji;; Location: augusta on Jun 5, 2007 at 06:13 PM
    "According to Chief Deputy Strength, the boy originally told police he had to use the restroom, so Ms. Hendrick had gone into the bathroom before him to check the trash can liners." Joy she was not abusing him, get real...
  • by Starr Location: AUG on Jun 5, 2007 at 06:07 PM
    I rememember reading the original article when this first happened, to joy, here's the origianl article http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/112399/met_teachstab1.shtml this teacher never deserved this, and when someone does something wrong, we can't make excuses for them, if you kill a person, you should serve the time for it. His friend who was "actually" a studemt there at the time and saw it, said he should get punished for it. He didn't mention any sort of abuse, in fact her other student and his mom said what a great lady was, read the entire article b4 you jumpt to conclusions and start firing off things to disrespect a good decent person who has now passed away.
  • by NATALIE Location: TEXAS on Jun 5, 2007 at 05:57 PM
    This response is to Joy who asked: WHY WAS SHE IN THE BATHROOM? Obviously Joy hasn't had a disable or special needs child so therefor would not know what or how to help a child to the bathroom. I have a special needs child and needs help getting dressed and going to the bathroom, and if you see the clip above, it shows him in a wheelchair. Don't condemn the special needs Teacher(s),she lost her life for helping Gods children ~ Special Needs Children.
  • by Gina Location: Augusta on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:52 AM
    I don't want to waste our taxes on that cruel and unfeeling killer. and Joy, why do you want to condemn someone who can't defend herself? What you said about Gail is just hateful gossip that you made up. Some people just search for something bad, even when it is not there.I hope that her killer gets what he deserves.
  • by diane Location: augusta on Jun 5, 2007 at 09:28 AM
    Joy what planet are you from? If you think he's such an innocent after stabbing Ms. Hendrick over 70 times I agree with Steve why don't you take him under your wing. He was brutal in his attack REGARDLESS as to whether you feel Ms. Hendrick may have embaressed him or said something inapropriate!!!! She did not deserve what he did to her. Give him the death penalty!!!! I don't want to waste any of my taxes keeping him healthy and alive!!!
  • by joadie Location: Grovetown on Jun 5, 2007 at 09:05 AM
    I cannot believe that he put her and her whole familie in hell for almost 8 years and he was free to live his life after 5, when he was the one causing all that
  • by john Location: augusta on Jun 4, 2007 at 05:57 PM
    Please reword the title of this news story. It is very confusing and hard to understand what the news story is about.
  • by steve on Jun 4, 2007 at 07:59 AM
    I think after he stabbed her 70 times not once or twice are ten times I WONDER JOY IF MAYBE HE COULD BE RELEASE TO YOU. FOR YOUR CARE
  • by joy Location: augusta on Jun 3, 2007 at 11:44 AM
    i WONDER WHY THIS FEMALE TEACHER WAS IN THE BATHROOM WITH A 14YEAR OLD MALE student? Does not seem like school or moral policy for a female teacher to be taking male student into the bathroom.She possibly could have done this before and whatever she did,he may have been upset with her actions.He was a special ed.student and maybe he tried to defend himself.His mobility was also impaired.What was she doing?Could this be a covered up sexual offense? The media has revealed several instances of female teachers preying on young male students.Some were married and had kids.One reap what was sown.The number 7 is the number for completion,the number 5 is the number for grace.Many in the community wounder about the true story behind the assault.I don't expect this would have been displayed even if it was permitted,after all,the image of the victim has to be protected at all cost.May one day the whole story will be revealed.
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