A Mother’s Grief: Rebecca Travers speaks of her son’s murder one year ago


Rebecca Travers with her son, Jamie. (Photo: Courtesy Travers family)

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Rebecca Travers says there is no closure when a child is murdered, only the hope for justice. Her 21-year-old son, Jamie Travers, was shot to death during an armed robbery just over a year ago.

Monday, she saw for the very first time the two men accused of breaking into her son’s home and killing him. A short time later, Mrs. Travers sat down and talked with WHNT News 19 for this exclusive interview.

“He always had a smile on his face, always laughing and always cutting up,” Mrs. Travers told us following the arraignment Monday of the three men accused in her son’s death.

Mrs. Travers says she has lived in a fog for the last 12 months, unable to work, unable to move on with her life, unable to accept the reality that is hers.

“And my first thought every morning when I wake up, when I open my eyes, is my son is dead. They murdered him. And I think about what he went through that night and I think about the fact that he was running from that house. I think about the fact that he fell on the side of the road, alone. I don’t know what his last words were, I know he died alone. I don’t know if he was hurting, I don’t know if he knew he was dying. He took his last breath alone,” Rebecca Travers said.

Ryan O’Neal Caudle and DeWayne O’Neal Hicks are accused of breaking into Travers’ house with the intent to rob him. Police believe they shot him as Travers tried to escape. Charles Makekau, who was Travers’ former roommate, is alleged to have set up the robbery and supplied Caudle and Hicks with the access code to bypass the home’s security system. All three pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Monday. All three are being held without bond in the Morgan County Jail.

Rebecca Travers says as she fights for justice, she and her family receive death threats, and she lives in fear.

“Every second of every day. I’m sitting here thinking that I have to walk out of here by myself and I’m terrified,” Mrs. Travers said.

Mrs. Travers says some of her family have already moved away because of what has happened, and because of the threats. She, too, is preparing to move, but says she will come back as often as necessary to get justice for Jamie.

There was a confrontation outside of the courtroom Monday morning, and more threats against Mrs. Travers.  Sheriff’s deputies intervened. We will continue to follow this case to its conclusion.