RICHMOND, Va. -- Trey Hope smiles and dabs with a gleam in his eye as he sees supporters ahead of his aunt Tori Nichole Jackson Hope's trial.
Law enforcement charged Tori Hope with two counts of abuse and neglect after someone dropped off Trey at Chippenham Hospital on July 17, 2020.
He was on the verge of death.
Family and former strangers, now friends, were so touched by our original story about the 27-year-old man, they jumped in to help.
"There were definitely some tears shed at the tragic story," PJ Morrissey, whose sister Emily has cerebral palsy, said.
When Trey was dropped off at the hospital, he had a broken skull, a broken pelvis, and burns all over his body.
"I cried for two weeks off and on in my room," Trey's cousin JaWanda Hope said when she found out what happened to Trey.
JaWanda said Trey, who has autism and cerebral palsy, used to swim and bowl, but the first time she saw him after his hospitalization Trey was in "a fetal position."
Doctors immediately suspected abuse and called Adult Protective Services. Law enforcement later charged Tori Jackson Hope with abuse and neglect.
Trey lived with his aunt and uncle after his mother, who was his legal guardian, died in January 2020.
"It hurts me. Why would someone do that? Why? What were you thinking?" JaWanda asked.
According to JaWanda, a case manager with the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority was supposed to check in on Trey periodically, but RBHA said when COVID hit in March 2020, in-person contact requirements were suspended.
"Trey was not a priority, which he should have been after his mom passed away. That was his guardian," JaWanda said.
JaWanda claimed Trey's case manager only spoke with Tori over the phone, and never actually saw Trey.
The head of the agency, John Lindstrom, said RBHA cannot speak about specific cases, but he said it was possible that many contacts at the time this happened were over telephone or video, and in some cases only with guardians or caregivers.
Face-to-face requirements resumed in May 2021.
Both JaWanda Hope and PJ Morrissey said they wanted to ensure something like this never happened again.
"As a sibling to somebody with special needs, that is definitely one of my biggest fears, if God forbid my parents or myself were to pass on and we weren't able to take care of Emily anymore, you put all your trust in the system that it's going to work," Morrissey said. "To see what happened to Trey and know that it could potentially happen to Emily by falling into the wrong hands was very disturbing and touched me very deeply."
They also said they want justice for Trey at the trial.
"I hope that she is held accountable for her actions. She deserves whatever she has coming for her," Morrissey said.
We reached out to Jackson Hope's attorney, and we are still waiting to hear back.
Her trial is set to begin on Tuesday morning in Richmond.
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