“It’s been nothing but torture for me and my family”: Victim’s family speaks out after Wiley guilty verdict

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:47 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

QUINCY (WGEM) - The murder trial for the 35-year-old Quincy man accused of shaking an infant to death on Jan. 20, 2018 took an entire work week, five days to complete. At approximately 11:02 a.m. on Friday, the jury was dismissed and sent to begin their deliberation.

In between the 5 hours and 26 minutes of deliberation, the jury raised numerous questions to the court, including what to do if they couldn’t come to an agreement. Following the verdict, Judge Michael Atterberry said they were urged to continue deliberating. Roughly one hour later, the verdict was given.

“I just want to let everybody know that I didn’t do this,” Travis Wiley said moments before being taken to the Adams County Jail in handcuffs.

From the time of Friday’s verdict, it had been 5 years and 10 months since the infant, Airyana Hoffman, who was 2-months and 3-weeks-old, was found lifeless in a Fisher Price Rock n’ Play at her home in Quincy. 5 years and 10 months since her mother, Christina Engle, received a phone call from Wiley that Airyana wasn’t breathing, forcing her to come home from work.

After court adjourned Friday evening, Engle described the past 5 years and 10 months as torture for her and her family.

“It was relieving, but at the same time it doesn’t fix it because it doesn’t bring her back,” Engle said.

Engle testified on the first day of evidence on Tuesday. Engle said she hasn’t spoken to Wiley since the day of Airyana’s death, nor does she want to. The question of what she would say arose.

“I’ve never hated someone so much in my life, because hatred eats me and it’s not fair, I shouldn’t feel this much hatred for someone,” Engle said.

From this day forward, Engle said she wants to do anything she can to save another child from an injury like Airyana’s. Three medical witnesses from the prosecution testified that the infant had died from abusive head trauma. Evidence published to the jury depicted a hemorrhage in her brain among other places.

“My house is nothing but Airy things,” Engle said. “Her nursery was owls; I have hundreds of owls everywhere.”

Jon Barnard was asked to take on the case as a special prosecutor more than one year ago after Ryan Parker, who had represented Wiley, accepted a job with the Adams County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Barnard described this case as one of the most complex jobs he’s ever done, siting the medical issues, conflicting opinions of medical experts and the need to get into the weeds on those issues. Barnard was previously the Adams County State’s Attorney before the current state’s attorney Gary Farha.

“There were times, particularly in my opening statement, where it was difficult to control my emotions,” Barnard said.

Wiley will be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 26. A half-day has been set aside for the sentencing. Engle said she wants the maximum sentence applied.

“I’m hoping he gets sentenced the same sentence that I got, I’m life without parole without my child, and I would think that that is what he should get,” Engle said.

Wiley faces up to 60 years in the Illinois Dept. of Corrections.


Copyright 2023 WGEM. All rights reserved.