'I failed him:' Family of Alvin Hester speaks out

Tuesday, November 26, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- As hundreds of people gathered to pay their final respects to  Investigator Cecil Ridley, the family of the man charged with his murder is speaking out.

Felicia Bush is Alvin Hester Jr.'s aunt and says her nephew worked at the convenience store where the shooting happened. She also says it's been difficult to see him being called a monster on social media before he's even had a trial. While his aunt says it's not an excuse to turn to crime, Alvin Hester's life has been anything but easy.

"This is still just like a dream," said Bush when describing the shooting.

She says Hester is paralyzed from the waist down, and is currently in jail, charged with murdering a police officer.

"That's not him. That's not the person that's been around me from a newborn baby," said Bush.

She says Hester's grandmother raised him, and died when he was ten. His dad is also dead. His mom has her own criminal record and lives in Macon.

"Basically he was homeless at one time, and he just felt like he didn't have nobody," said Bush.

She says she's done what she can to take care of her nephew, including allow him to live with her.

"He just felt like he needed to be the man to help us out. He was trying to get jobs and stuff, but it was like, his past," said Bush.

It's a past that includes a felony conviction for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. Bush says it's a cycle she sees in a lot of kids; rocky family lives leave them with no where to go but the streets.

"It ain't that they're trying to, it's like, where else to go when they don't have no one else there for them?" she said.

And once they end up on the street, it's very hard to get out.

"He was like, 'auntie, I'm tired of struggling. I'm tired of asking people for help and no one wants to help me,'" said Bush.

Bush also said it was emotional to see the way Hester appeared in court during Tuesday's bond hearing. She believes he's not getting proper medical treatment in jail. The judge said she's been told Hester is refusing food and water.

While people on social media say they see Hester as a monster, Bush says she'll continue to see her nephew as a boy who was failed.

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