John Robert Ebel guilty in Murder of Hunter Cumbie

John Robert Ebel

John Robert Ebel

A 51-year-old Virginia man this week admitted his role in chilling the death of his 7-year-old stepson. Prosecutors say the victim was beaten, starved and even sexually abused by a family member before her death last year.

Appearing at Franklin Circuit Court on Tuesday, John Robert Ebel formally pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder in the death of Hunter Wayne CumbieCourt records reviewed by Law & Crime show.


At the time of his brutal death, Hunter lived with his grandmother, Alice Marie Ebel, who is married to John. Hunter and his two siblings moved in with their grandparents after their father allegedly passed away by suicide in 2019. The children’s mother, Lois DelpAccording to reports, she was unable to properly care for the children after her husband passed away.

Alice Ebel and Dakota Cumbie, Hunter’s uncle, is also facing charges stemming from an allegation of gruesome abuse against the boy, court records show. Alice is facing one count of child abuse resulting in serious injury and one count of cruelty to or injury to a child; Dakota is facing one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 13, two counts of lewdness with a victim under the age of 13 and five counts of possession of child pornography.

John Ebel on June 30, 2021 is said to have taken Hunter to Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, Roanoke Fox affiliate WFXR report. The grandfather told Hunter’s medical team that he was injured in a fall and had some kind of illness, but hospital staff contacted the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and informed the family. responsible for the suspicious nature of Hunter’s wound.

The hospital also noted that Hunter appeared to be emaciated, weighing only 37 pounds. Alice is said to have tried to blame the boy’s thin appearance on an unclear medical condition, but hospital officials noted that she did not appear to be telling the truth. each Roanoke Times.

Due to the nature of his injuries, Hunter was airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. But despite the efforts of the doctors, two days later, Hunter succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on Friday, July 2, 2021. The Roanoke Medical Examiner’s Office made progress. performed an autopsy, determined that the boy’s death was a homicide “reported by the WFXR blunt force.

John Ebel, the first of the trio to be arrested for Hunter’s death, was taken into custody on July 7, 2021. Ebel was re-arrested on October 5 after A new indictment was issued.

Prosecutors allege that after Hunter moved in with his paternal grandparents, the adults subjected him to various forms of abuse and punishment. Such punishments mainly include starving the child for days at a time and physical abuse if he is caught trying to sneak a meal, according to one report are from Roanoke Times. According to reports, he would also be beaten with a belt when he wet the bed at night.

John is said to have dealt a fatal blow to Hunter after coming home from work on June 29. Prosecutors say Alice told John Hunter was acting and John responded by hitting him in the head.” maybe with a closed hand”, according to Roanoke Times.

Hunter is said to have passed out that night and remained unresponsive throughout the night until being taken to hospital the next morning. John told police he expected Hunter to “get out of it” on his own.

John is now expected to be sentenced on April 28 before Judge Tim Allen.

Alice’s trial is currently scheduled to begin on February 24, court records show. Dakota’s trial is scheduled to begin on March 14.

[Image via Franklin County Sheriff’s Office]

Is there a trick we should know? John Robert Ebel guilty in Murder of Hunter Cumbie

James Brien

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