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Crime News

Louisiana College Student Recovering In Hospital After Dorm Room Stabbing

Draven Upchurch’s mother said his condition was improving after his date allegedly stabbed him in his dorm room. 

By Dorian Geiger
Timeline: College Violence And Crime

An 18-year-old university student is accused of nearly stabbing her boyfriend to death in a dorm room knife attack over Easter weekend.

Elizabeth Grace Johnson is facing possible charges of aggravated battery, police said, after she allegedly stabbed Draven Upchurch at his Southeastern Louisiana University residence building in Hammond, LA earlier this month.

On April 3, campus authorities found Upchurch suffering from “multiple” stab wounds on the third floor of the university’s Louisiana Hall residence building, according to a campus police report obtained by Oxygen.com.  

Upchurch was transported to North Oaks Medical Center in critical condition. Johnson, who campus police describe as, Upchurch's "dating partner" was arrested. At the time of her arrest,  Johnson appeared “worried,” the police report stated.

On Monday, his family shared that Upchurch was improving, after his condition had temporarily declined over the weekend. 

“We had a few set backs the last [two] days,” his mother Angie Fassulo said. “But we got them steps back!! Please keep praying!!

Upchurch is originally from Covington, Louisiana, about 40 miles north of New Orleans. He graduated from Fontainebleau High School in 2018, acquaintances said. Upchurch competed in choreographed flag spinning, or color guard, according to those who knew him. He attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, university officials there confirmed.

“He never deserved this ever,” high school peer Lexie Rome told Oxygen.com

Elizabeth Johnson

Rome, 21, described Upchurch as an “outgoing,” “goofy,” and “great kid” who always had a smile on his face. 

Rome co-organized a blood drive for Upchurch at her family’s nutrition store in Covington on April 11. She said around a dozen people attended. Rome noted a number of other blood drives have also been held for Upchurch since the knife attack. 

“It’s a very small town everybody knows everybody,” Rome added. “This makes me feel like everybody has everybody’s back around here. Everybody’s supporting him and wants justice for him. I hope we get justice for Draven.”

While a motive in the stabbing hasn’t been released, Autin-Fasullo’s posts noted her son was “well acquainted” with Johnson. University officials described the stabbing as an “isolated incident.” Johnson has been suspended in the interim. Officials declined to comment further on the pending investigation. 

“This incident currently remains under investigation, and the student will go through the proper university disciplinary process as well as the criminal justice system process,” Mike Rivault, a spokesperson for Southeastern Louisiana University told Oxygen.com in a statement on Monday. “The university process may result in disciplinary measures up to and including expulsion, but that is not yet complete.”  

Johnson was booked into Tangipahoa Parish Jail on April 3, online jail records show. The 18-year-old was released on bond on April 5, according to officials. It’s unclear if she’s retained legal representation. Tangipahoa Parish Clerk of Courts were unable to immediately provide an upcoming court date for Johnson, or confirm whether she’s been formally charged.  

Tangipahoa Parish District Attorney’s Office didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment on the case on Monday.