Mom works for justice after son killed in hunting trip; 'I just don't want them to forget about him'

Mom of teen shot and killed wants justice

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Cassy Stevens said goodbye to her son and laid down for a nap after work on February 18, not knowing that would be the last time she would ever see him. 

Billy Gort Jr., who would now be 14 years old, went on a squirrel hunting trip in Oceana County with his mentor, Roger Hoeker. 

Stevens said Hoeker was a youth pastor at their church and ran a program called Christianity Outdoors. The squirrel hunting trip was one of many outings.

But this outing ended tragically, when Hoeker shot Billy in the back of the head. 

Billy died later that night.

Read more: Police: Wyoming boy, 13, killed in hunting accident

Read more: Family of Wyoming boy killed while hunting reaches $1 million settlement

Read more: Man who shot 13 year old while squirrel hunting charged with involuntary manslaughter

"It's been a long ten months. It hurts. It hurts a lot," Stevens said. 

Stevens spoke with WZZM on Friday, Dec. 1, for the first time since losing her son.

Stevens said she wants justice. 

"I've been waiting patiently for this day, for Billy's day," Stevens said. 

After several delayed court hearings, Hoeker will appear in court on Dec. 4 for his preliminary hearing. 

He is charged with involuntary manslaughter, which could place him behind bars for up to 15 years. Stevens said she thinks he should be there for life. 

Hoeker is a registered hunter safety instructor and both boys on the hunting trip were wearing bright orange vests. 

"People think he murdered Billy...I just want to know what happened," Stevens said. 

Read more: 13-year-old hunter's family speaks out against killer's charges: 'He had an ulterior motive' 

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