1999 attack linked to teacher's death

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Complications from injuries suffered in an attack by one of her pupils caused the death of a former special education teacher, Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten said Friday.

Delayed complications of multiple blunt and sharp force injuries were responsible for the death Thursday of Linda Gail Hendrick, 59, Mr. Tuten said.

Ms. Hendrick, who taught at Murphey Middle School, had been in a coma since being severely beaten and stabbed by 14-year-old David Drayton, on Nov. 22, 1999. He was convicted of aggravated assault in Richmond County Juvenile Court and sentenced to five years. He was released in December 2004.

The attack against Ms. Hendrick occurred in a restroom attached to her classroom. The teacher was left to suffer from what District Attorney Danny Craig described as a lingering "traumatic brain injury."

She was stabbed 70 times with a pair of scissors.

Mr. Craig said Friday that he cannot comment on whether Ms. Hendrick's death will lead to murder charges.

In 2000, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Gail Hendrick Law, giving juvenile judges authority to try juveniles as adults if older than 13.

Mr. Craig said the new law elevated aggravated battery, a crime that had been considered a misdemeanor, to felony status.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

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dmcelroy
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dmcelroy 06/02/07 - 10:08 pm
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I know that I am late in

I know that I am late in responding to this and everyone has probably stopped reading this. However, once again everyone is entitled to their opinion. We are not the judge and jury. However I must say the following - 1) this is not a race issue - do not turn it into one. 2) this is not an issue based on the fact that David is in a wheelchair - disabilities is not the issue - do not make it the issue.
The issues are this - 1) Gail was brutally assaulted; David was convicted and sentenced to 5 years which he served. 2) Gail has now died (her family did not allow her to remain in that condition - she was not on total life support) - autoposy results showed that her death was a result of the injuries sustained from the assualt - thus the new charges of murder.
No it is not the same crime. She died when he was an adult. He committed the assault as a juvenile. He served the sentence for assault, yes. That has nothing to do with the new charge of murder - unless the judge and jury deem otherwise.
Again everyone has their own opinion, I just don't like to see people arguing over someone who was so loved, when she needs to finally REST IN PEACE and her family needs peace.

my opinion matters
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my opinion matters 06/03/07 - 12:12 am
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you commit a crime you should

you commit a crime you should be able to do the time. wrong is wrong. because what reason he had to stabbed a teacher.

littlechick37
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littlechick37 06/03/07 - 12:24 am
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The guy should serve time

The guy should serve time that is murder. The bible saids thoug shall not kill and he did. I feel sorry for her family and the guy should be in prison. People kill innocent people for no reason well he would have to look up to God for what he did. I send my prayers to her family and hope they will always remember her in their hearts. Nobody should be arguing over this it happened and their is nothing can be done about it. The world has too much violence and no love.

hisfaith2003
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hisfaith2003 06/03/07 - 03:32 am
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How do you know about his

How do you know about his remorse Mable8. We are so quick to judge, We don't know the reason behind what happen all we know is a child with a handicap commented a crime and a person was hurt and now she is dead, This child was convicted and he did his time. i don't think he should be retried, because it is a thing called double jeapedy. The teacher had injuries that had her in a coma state that cause her body to shut down, the young man went to jail for assault and thats what it was, sadly her injuries caused her body to shut down 8 yrs later. i am sorry about that, just like Ms craig there is a difference, that person died then not 9 yrs later. and she should be under arrest even though she probably can not go to jail. And it is a race problem in Augusta and in the south period, but let me tell you this if we don't fight for justice you will not get any.

littlechick37
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littlechick37 06/03/07 - 07:41 am
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It does not matter if he was

It does not matter if he was handicapped or not the kid should have not killed her. Why feel sorry for a kid who did that and did know what he was doing? I don't feel sorry for him he does the crime he gets the time. I hope he gets locked up for life so he can't kill anyone else. I don't think the race issue is a problem but so many blacks are the main ones killing people makes you wonder sometimes. And who is Mable 8?

ANGEL
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ANGEL 06/03/07 - 08:42 am
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It does not matter the age,

It does not matter the age, race or handicap of an individual. the bible says eye for an eye. 5 years at RYDC was just a slap on the hand for this young man. He should have been trial as an adult to start with. The teacher never would have gained her normal life back so he should have gotten the MAX. I personally do not feel sorry for him at all because I have seen him personally while at RYDC and he was just a normal kid and not in a wheelchair most of the time. So yes I will go for the murder charge too. The laws need to be TOUGHER on people today no matter the age if not there will be more killing among the teachers and others. May God be with the Henderick family during this time of lose and I know she is in a better place and can now look down and see everything happening. May God be with the young boy family who now has to see the real light of what he is really capable of doing and trying to understand why he did what he did.

LoveBlackAndWhite
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LoveBlackAndWhite 06/03/07 - 09:29 am
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Why call him a young man? He

Why call him a young man? He made a barbaric attack on a human life. I do not give him that label as a young man. his faith2003- it is not double JEOPARDY. =) There is a race problem in the south. Some of us just don't want to be pushovers anymore. It is time for us to fight for justice. =) So everyone that has a wreck that causes death should be incarcerated? hmmm........sounds like you're very intelligent. Just curious: What race are you? =) Jesus loves all that seek him.

1outsider
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1outsider 06/03/07 - 11:46 am
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As a person outside of the

As a person outside of the Augusta area I ran accross this story online. After researching this story I tried to understand the perspectives that some of this post came from, but others I just don't get. I just wanted to say that whether or not this young is tried and sentenced for murder, was he ever rehabilitated or does anyone care? What are the feelings of the victims family? What are the cold hard facts, not the opinons, but hardcore facts of the case? How have the schools in the area and the surrounding community been changed or not changed by this attack? Lastly, for a city like Augusta, why in the world are you all so concerned about race when there existing issues in the city such as poor infastucture, poor educational system, and dilapidated homes. The said part is that race is just the tip of the iceberg. Use the situation as a learning tool to improve and not divide.

Opinionated One
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Opinionated One 06/03/07 - 04:08 pm
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David stabbed her 70 TIMES.

David stabbed her 70 TIMES. He should be locked up for the REST of his life. He is a animal. He is just one in a wheelchair. I would believe the same way, if he was so white, he pooped snow balls.

mable8
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mable8 06/03/07 - 04:19 pm
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hisfaith2003: Have YOU ever

hisfaith2003: Have YOU ever been victimized by one so barbaric? My family has, so I DO know what I speak of. The barbarians who murdered a family member have NEVER expressed any kind of remorse--and neither has the perpetrator in this particular crime. It is not double jeopardy for a murder charge to follow an aggravated assault charge when the victim eventually succumbs to the injuries from the assault. He deserves to be charged with murder, and hopefully, he will be convicted of same. While he may have been a "child" his only handicap was physical in nature. The fact that one is handicapped in any way, or is racially different from the victim, is no ticket to infringe harm and/or death on another. I stand by my remarks.

t of i
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t of i 06/03/07 - 04:49 pm
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It is my understanding that

It is my understanding that while he was in a wheelchair, he could walk. My neighbor worked there at the time, knew him and said that he could walk.

justmythoughts
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justmythoughts 06/03/07 - 10:46 pm
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I wonder if this was the

I wonder if this was the first aggressive act this young man showed, or if it was a string of acts that were just part of "his disabilities". He couldn't have been that disabled to stab her 70 TIMES! When was it decided that teachers were okay to be abused? That students and parents have more rights than educators? Teachers are not trained in fighting, gun control, drugs, or homicide. They are NOT policemen, DEA agents, soldiers or homicide detectives. And believe me our laws protect everyone else but the teachers. Hence the article in the paper yesterday! She went to work that day to help students, to teach, impart knowledge and he cut her down like a dog, but I guess to some of you FIVE years was enough! People would be more upset if he had done that to a dog!

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