News 12 at Six o'clock, June 4, 2007.
Augusta, GA---A day to say goodbye to 59-year-old Linda Gail Hendrick. The funeral for the long-time special education teacher was held today at Augusta's First Presbyterian church.
It was a bittersweet farewell for those who knew her. "She suffered a lot but I know she's with the Lord, said friend, Beth Partridge. Hendrick struggled to stay alive for the last seven and half years after her former student, David Drayton, attacked the teacher and left her in a coma. "She was a lovely person, the world is poorer for having lost her," said friend, Jane Bowen. In 1999, then 14-year-old David Drayton plead guilty to the crime and served the maximum sentence of five years for stabbing his teacher 70 times with a pair of scissors. After a short taste of freedom, Drayton, now 22-years-old is back behind bars, charged with murder after the coroner says Hendrick died as a result of the attack. Cathy Carter was the school's nurse at Murphey Middle at the time of the assault. "We had a wonderful, spiritual woman leave this earth as a direct result of what he did," she said. She says what she saw that day was so graphic she had to get counseling. "It's been very difficult, it was the most violent thing I've ever seen in my nursing career," Carter said. On Monday she and more than a hundred family and friends mourned the loss of the beloved teacher. "I pray that he learn what his actions have done and how it's effected hundreds of lives," Partridge said.
District Attorney, Danny Craig says he expects the case will go to court within the next six months but if a mental evaluation comes up it could be even longer.
Hendrick was buried in a private ceremony at Sharon Baptist Church in Appling.