Woman not guilty by reason of insanity in children's deaths

A 23-year-old Augusta mother who stabbed her two small children to death in November 2007 was found not guilty by reason of insanity today.

 

Jeanette Hawes waived her right to a jury trial and faced a bench trial in Richmond County Superior Court before Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet.

Ms. Hawes agreed to a stipulation that stated that on Nov. 29, 2007, she stabbed to death 3-year-old Shakayla Hawes and 1-year-old Jordan Hawes inside a restroom at a Lumpkin Road convenience store.

Two doctors - one a psychiatrist and the other a psychologist who performs forensic evaluations - testified today that they believe Ms. Hawes met the legal definition of insanity.

At the time she killed her children, both doctors testified, they believe she was under the effect of paranoid delusions and unable to tell the difference between right and wrong.

The verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity means Ms. Hawes will be committed to a state mental hospital. She can only be released by order of Judge Overstreet.

 

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