Travis Grafe: Florida man, 40, beats mom to pulp with flashlight after she refused to give him money
MIAMI, FLORIDA: The owners of a popular Florida family farm were almost beaten to death by their son. Rachel Knaus Grafe and Herbert Grafe, owners of the Knaus Berry Farm, famous for its strawberries and freshly baked cinnamon rolls, were attacked by their son with a flashlight when the former refused to give her adult son money.
Travis Grafe, 40, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery, and one act of domestic assault for the February 17 attack at the home in the 24500 block of Southwest 157th Avenue. A new police report revealed that the attack stemmed from Travis not wanting his mother to be his legal guardian anymore.
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Cops found Rachel nearly beaten to death
On Friday, Miami-Dade police got a call reporting a domestic battery at the home of the family. Around 8.30 pm, police discovered Rachel, 66, unconscious and lying in a pool of blood on 248th Street. She had been beaten to a pulp and a flashlight was found nearby covered in bloodstains.
The extent of Rachel's injuries necessitated an airlift to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where her status is currently categorized as serious. Meanwhile, Herbert, who suffered head injuries, is anticipated to make a full recovery. Travis, who fled to a neighbor's house in a golf cart, confessed to them, "I just killed my mother," an officer told CBS Miami.
Travis Grafe has a history of offenses
When Travis was a teenager, he was involved in an accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury, and his mother was given guardianship, according to Daily Mail. Travis admitted during the police interrogation that he assaulted his mother because he no longer wanted her to be his legal guardian. "I truly believe if that never happened, this wouldn't have happened as well," a close friend of the family said. Shocked and distressed, she described her friend Rachel as "an extremely sweet and wonderful person." "I've just heard that Travis wanted money, and his mom wouldn't give it to him, and he beat her pretty bad - close to death - with a flashlight," the family friend said.
Previously in 2013, Travis was arrested on a series of charges including assault, burglary, and possession of a fire bomb. Those charges were all ultimately dropped when he was found to be mentally unstable.
Meanwhile, Knaus Berry Farm stayed closed Saturday, with a sign outside reading that the closure was due to a family emergency.