'He was always happy': Family of 5-year-old killed speaks out as father appears in court

Sean Coffey Image
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Family of 5-year-old killed speaks out as father appears in court
"He was always happy"

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The family of the 5-year-old that doctors said died after being brutally assaulted this past weekend is speaking out.

Karter Holloway died Monday from a brain hemorrhage that doctors said came as a result of those injuries. On Wednesday, his father, 24-year-old Amir Hines, appeared in court on murder charges in the boy's death.

"He was always happy, he would just bop. Just bop around all the time. He was my 'bop-bop'," said Tiffani Holloway, Karter's maternal grandmother.

Holloway said Karter was autistic and non-verbal and was a loving, energetic 5-year-old. She said he loved superheroes and shoes, and leaves behind a 2-year-old sister, in addition to the rest of the family.

"I'm trying to be strong for his mother because I don't want her to see me cry," Holloway said. "But I'm hurting too."

Holloway told Eyewitness News that when the family learned Karter had been hospitalized, Hines told them Karter had fallen off his bike. Hines has not responded to those allegations so far. Now, they're asking for the truth.

"That will help us in this process of grieving because now know the truth," she said. "To know what Karter went through in those last moments that he was alert and alive."

Hines had previously been charged with felony child abuse before the added murder charge was brought. He continues to be held without bond and is scheduled to appear back in court on January 22 at 9 a.m. Tiffani said the family is still working through the reality of what happened.

"Processing the crime -- I can't process that. process in that I'll never see Karter again, I struggle with that," Holloway said.

The family has also set up an online fundraiser to help cover funeral costs. They're hoping to plan a service soon, but have not been able to retrieve the boy's body yet as they wait on an autopsy.