Franklin Co. woman charged following stepson’s death
A woman is already serving time in prison for abusing her step-son. But now, the Franklin County District Attorney says the abuse was so extreme, it killed the boy. Michele Hunter faces a homicide charge for the death of 7-year-old Billy Travis.
Kim and Bob Travis have a lot of love to give. They have 9 kids total; 5 are adopted. Billy Travis was one of them. Kim and Bob received a call for a foster child in 2011. He was recovering at Hershey Medical Center after a severe brain injury. Court documents state his step-mother, Michele Hunter, abused the then 4-year-old so badly he could no longer walk, see, or even eat. But the could didn’t even question whether they would take him in.
“We had always said that whatever call came in, is the call we would take,” said Kim Travis, Billy’s adoptive mom.
Doctors told the family, Billy, would not make it to his 10th birthday because of the severity of his injuries. But they adopted him anyway.
“A lot of these kids they just want love, you know, somebody to love them,” said Bob Travis, Billy’s adoptive dad.
A judge sentenced his step-mother to 9 to 20 years in prison for the abuse in April. Billy died June 11th. Autopsy results released this week indicate he died from his injuries. And now the Franklin County District Attorney’s office has filed a third-degree homicide charge against Hunter.
"It's a bitter sweet situation, we're glad she's receiving that but we rather have him here," said Kim.
The Travis's are hoping Billy's story sends a message.
"He becomes a voice and that people will see that child abuse is not something that's occurring somewhere else, that it's occurring wherever your city is. It's occurring in your city, it's occurring in my city, it's occurring in my neighborhood and we need to keep our eyes and ears open for these, because they don't have a voice," said Kim.