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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