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Huntington beating victim showing signs of improvement

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - More than two weeks after a brutal beating in Huntington left a teenager unconscious, family members say they’re finally seeing signs of encouragement.

Since Chris Holsinger was viciously beaten June 13, he’d been unresponsive on a ventilator at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

In the weeks since, the family has wondered if he’d survive.

“It got to where I definitely was losing hope,” Chris’s mother Shawna Marshall said. “He didn’t deserve this.”

Marshall says Tuesday, her son’s act of making a simple gesture was enough to bring her to tears.

She asked him to give a thumbs up, and he did so.

“It was like just having him placed in my arms for the first time, just seeing him able to respond,” she said.

She says Wednesday he was taken off the ventilator, but he still has his feeding tube in.

The family says Chris, who had just finished his junior year at Collins Career Technical Center, was on his way home with friends early the morning of June 13, a Sunday, when he got a flat tire and pulled into a parking lot in Huntington.

Police say Chris was brutally beaten by several unidentified suspects.

“He’d been knocked unconscious, and while he was unconscious, they stomped his head,” Marshall said.

The mother says it’s sickening whoever did this to her son hasn’t been caught.

“Knowing the people who did this are out their living their life, I hope and pray to God -- they know what they did, and they’ll answer for it one day,” she said.

Marshall says her son has been able to follow other simple commands, including squeezing a football.

“The doctors and nurses have been amazing,” she said.

She says now they’re just waiting for him to open his eyes and gradually talk.

The mother says she stays in touch with the detective working on the case, but there’s been no update. She’s urging anyone with information that could be helpful to come forward.

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