Son charged with murder after Knaus Berry Farm owner dies following attack

Travis Grafe, 40, accused of beating parents at Homestead home

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Prosecutors formally announced charges Friday against Travis Grafe, who is accused of killing his own mother and severely beating his father.

The attack happened Feb. 17 at the family’s Homestead property.

The 40-year-old is now charged with second-degree murder and battery on a person age 65 or older.

According to investigators, Rachel Knaus-Grafe -- the well-known co-owner of Knaus Berry Farm -- was attacked by her son, who they say beat her with a flashlight inside the family’s home.

Despite initially surviving the attack, Knaus-Grafe later died at the hospital.

Her husband and Travis’ father, Herbert Grafe, survived the attack.

Travis Grafe waived his right to appear at his arraignment Friday after initially failing to appear at his first appearance last month.

Travis Grafe, who pleaded not guilty Friday through his public defender, has remained in jail ever since his arrest.

The judge ordered he continue to be held without bond pending the outcome of his trial, which has been set for May.

According to court records, Travis Grafe suffered a traumatic brain injury that rendered him totally incapacitated and later prompted a judge to grant his mother guardianship in 2015.

He was arrested in 2013 on charges of bomb possession, burglary, criminal mischief, fleeing and eluding police, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, marijuana possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Prosecutors dropped the two 2013 criminal cases against him in 2014 and 2019.

About the Authors:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for