Peoria Public Radio News
4:13 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

PHS plants a tree for Darnell Hunter

PHS Principal Brett Elliott, students and others gather at the tree planting remembering Darnell Hunter
Credit Tanya Koonce / WCBU
  A Flowering Pear Tree stands in front of Peoria High School in memory of Darnell Hunter. The 18 year old PHS Senior died February 20th. A group of his classmates created a scholarship in Hunter’s name and turned out for the tree planning today complements of Sheridan Road Nursery. Principal Brett Elliott says the tree and the Darnell Hunter month of peace are fitting for his memory and the culture-shift undertaken at the school in the last two years.

“It was fitting that the senior class and the school itself came together during this tragic event and really turned it into something positive, and that flowed into the Month of Peace we’ve had going at Peoria High School,” says Principal Elliott. 

  A coroner's jury ruled Darnell Hunter’s death a homicide. His father, who had sole custody, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal neglect of a disabled person. Hunter  died from bronchopneumonia and gastroenteritis, with the  contributing factors including mental developmental delay, and malnutrition.

A seat with Hunter’s cap and gown will remain open at the graduation ceremony.