Judge says mom who killed kids will stay in hospital

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 11:54 AM
Last updated 8:03 PM
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A request to move from hospital supervision to a more relaxed group home was denied Wednesday for a woman who stabbed her two children to death in 2007.

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Jeanette Michelle Hawes was denied a request to move from hospital supervision to a more relaxed group home.  CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
Jeanette Michelle Hawes was denied a request to move from hospital supervision to a more relaxed group home.

Augusta Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet said he wasn’t comfortable granting a petition by Jeanette Michelle Hawes that she be taken out of the hospital. He expressed concern that her mental condition remains balanced only with medication.

“I’m just concerned about putting her in a less restrictive environment,” Overstreet said. “We know what she’s capable of.”

Doctors determined that she suffered a psychotic breakdown Nov. 29, 2007, when she repeatedly stabbed Shakayla Hawes, 3, and Jordan Hawes, 1, in a gas station bathroom on Lumpkin Road. Overstreet found Hawes not guilty by reason of insanity at a bench trial in January on charges including murder.

Hawes was involuntarily committed to Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah, where she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Two years of medication and counseling have stabilized her mental condition, two doctors at the hospital testified Wednesday.

In their opinion, Hawes no longer meets the criteria for in-patient civil commitment.

Assistant District Attorney Pittman Morris pressed the point that her medication is solely responsible for her improved condition. In October 2010, doctors reduced the dosage of one of her drugs, which produced a psychotic episode after six weeks.

Dr. John Prather, a staff psychi­atrist, said Hawes suffered grandiose delusions that she was
married to professional football player Michael Vick and that Michael Jackson was her father. He described her as “hyperactive,” “angry with staff,” and “suspicious of others” and said she approached some of the staffers in a physically threatening manner.

Mental health specialist David Ethridge said that the episode was a learning opportunity and that doctors now know not to alter her medication. He testified that staffers at the group home were trained to look for signs Hawes wasn’t taking her medication and that there were safeguards to prevent a similar episode.

He also said she was willing to take birth control medication to prevent her from having any more children.

Overstreet wasn’t convinced, however, that sufficient precautions were in place to take Hawes out of strict supervision. Leaving open the possibility of another petition after a year, Overstreet denied the current petition because it “would subject the community to potential harm.”

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david jennings
david jennings 11/10/11 - 10:03 am
I suppose she had a reason

I suppose she had a reason for having the children, I mean she could have aborted thier birth,and noone would have said much. When they were born it was probably a happy time, but then a few years later circumstances changed things, drugs?, no interest from the Father? I don't know. Definitely something was terribly wrong for a Mother to kill two of her children. The God I worship tells me not to hate this person but to pray for her. The children are in his hands and my faith is God will deal with her justly. As for now, yes she needs to be incarcerated and under supervision for the rest of her life, and unfortunately that will require societies monetary support, I look at it as part of being a member of the Human Race.

stillamazed 11/10/11 - 01:22 pm
She doesn't ever need to see

She doesn't ever need to see a day of freedom in her life.....sick or not.

Peach29 11/10/11 - 04:22 pm
Whyme...WELL SAID...as a

Whyme...WELL SAID...as a certified Psychosocial Rehabilitative Specialist who works with adults ages 20-78 with Schizophrenia, Bipolar etc. society will say Lock her up, throw away the key, should have received death penalty because she killed her kids.....However, from a more realistic view, anyone diagnosed with any mental illness have ability and potential to kill, have killed....because they face numerous symptoms that one can ever imagine. The mental health system has done their part thus far in giving her the help she needed....giving her somewhat a normal life again with less symptoms. It is society that will not accept these people back because of the fear of their lives and lack of understanding of the mental health arena.

nanowerx 11/10/11 - 06:00 pm
In cases of murder, there

In cases of murder, there should be no rehab. If you can't control yourself, why must the taxpayer spend $40,000/year just to keep you alive and medicated. Really, what good comes from that? EVERYBODY LOSES!

I say overturn the verdict and get a jury trial, then she would most definitely fry.

usklxm72 11/10/11 - 06:38 pm
I see she has fatten up and

I see she has fatten up and have acquired the crazy person wave.

Vito45 11/10/11 - 06:46 pm
Interesting that she is

Interesting that she is black. This is the first time I've seen her picture, and the reason I was a little surprised is that it has always seemed to me it is primarily white folk who commit the most heinous of crimes.

Will 11/13/11 - 09:45 pm
LOL. Did you people really

LOL. Did you people really expect something different? This is the norm now, people, quit acting so friggin' surprised! I'm more shocked with you all than her actions for thinking this murdering heffalump was actually going to be punished. Mass stupidity....

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