Dewey Canada holds a picture of his son, Trevor, who is currently being held in the Breathitt County Detention Center on assault charges. He is one of two teens arrested last week following a fight that injured Whitley County High School teacher, and 82nd District State Representative Dewayne Bunch.
Trevor Canada’s motorbike and four-wheeler are at home just where they left them. His father, Dewey L. Canada, said they will remain there until his son, who is in the Juvenile Detention Center in Breathitt County while awaiting trial on assault charges, returns home.
Trevor, a student at Whitley County High School and another student, Cody Gillum, are both facing charges after Science teacher Dewayne Bunch was injured while trying to break up a fight between the boys in the school cafeteria on April 12.
Dewey Canada said Trevor told him that on April 11 Gillum came up to Trevor and told them they were going to fight, to which Trevor responded he didn’t want to fight at school.
"They had been friends for years," Dewey Canada said of the boys, adding that they lived within about a mile of each other and were regularly at each other’s homes.
Trevor’s sister and Cody’s brother had been dating and have two children together. Dewey Canada said they had broken up on April 14 following a domestic dispute and that when he saw Trevor that night; both his upper and lower lips were bleeding.
However, he could not say for certain that the breakup led to the fight between the boys.
On the morning of the incident, Dewey Canada said Trevor told him he was sitting in the cafeteria when Gillum came up to him again and said they were going to fight. Trevor moved down the table, but said Gillum followed him.
As the fight began, Bunch tried to break it up during which he sustained his injuries.
"I did not hit Mr. Bunch," Dewey Canada said his son told him. "I think the world of Mr. Bunch."
Dewey Canada added that Trevor told him another faculty or staff member grabbed him by the neck and forced him to look as the blood ran from Bunch’s ears.
Though he has heard Trevor’s version of what occurred, Dewey Canada said he wants to see what happened himself by viewing the video surveillance. Specifically, he wants to know whether Trevor hit Bunch and whether the staff member grabbed him as Trevor described.
While both school officials and Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell have acknowledged the video does exist and that detectives have a copy, neither has made the video available to Canada.
Interim Whitley County School Board Attorney Larry Bryson said because the video contains images of other students, it is considered and educational record. As such, state and federal law both prohibit school officials from making it available to Canada.
Harrell said the copy of the video that detectives have is being treated as any other piece of evidence. It will be made available to attorneys as required by law, but without a court order, it cannot be made available to Canada.
Harrell said based on the evidence there is probable cause to charge each of the boys with one count of first-degree assault and two counts of third-degree assault.
In all likelihood, Trevor Canada will remain at the detention center pending his trial on May 24.
In phone calls and letters from Trevor, Dewey Canada said his son his dealing with his time at the detention center where he is housed in an eight-by-eight cell.
"Every time I talk to him, the first thing he asks is, ‘how is Mr. Bunch doing?’"
In a letter, Dewey Canada said Trevor reminded his father that God is with him while he is in the detention center. Trevor added that he is going to church.
However, he expressed that he feels too clean in the detention center after spending so much time at home riding his motorbike and four-wheeler and swimming and fishing in the creek that runs through the property.
"I’m a country boy," Trevor wrote in the letter. "I’m supposed to be dirty."
Dewey Canada said Trevor has never been any real trouble until his freshman year at Whitley County High School. Trevor was involved in a fight over a girl for which he was ordered to perform community service at the University of the Cumberlands’ Theatre Department.
Dewey Canada said he suffers from a series of health problems including chronic arthritis. In addition, he has undergone open-heart surgery and suffered multiple heart attacks.
As a result, Trevor has taken on most of the domestic chores at home, in addition to helping his dad button his shirt and put on his boots in the morning.
"I need Trevor very badly," Dewey Canada said, adding that he is doing what he has to, to get by until Trevor comes home.
While he is waiting for Trevor to come home, Dewey Canada said he keeps Bunch and his family.
"My heart goes out to them," Dewey Canada said. "I wish Mr. Bunch a speedy and full recovery. I’m so sorry that any of this happened."