Earlier in the week, mom was not herself

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Friends and family members worried about Jeannette Michelle Hawes in the days leading up to the stabbing deaths of her two children.

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Beverly Godbee (left) and Sherry Rowe, of Augusta, place a card and a small stuffed animal in front of a makeshift memorial outside the Lumpkin Road gas station where Jeannette Michelle Hawes' two young children were stabbed to death Thursday.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Beverly Godbee (left) and Sherry Rowe, of Augusta, place a card and a small stuffed animal in front of a makeshift memorial outside the Lumpkin Road gas station where Jeannette Michelle Hawes' two young children were stabbed to death Thursday.

But Ms. Hawes, 22, insisted she was fine.

On Thursday afternoon, Ms. Hawes took her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son into the bathroom of a convenience store and locked the door.

When sheriff's deputies -- called by a store clerk who heard screams inside -- finally forced it open, they found Ms. Hawes covered in blood, her son, Jordon Hawes, dead, and her daughter, Shakayla Hawes, dying.

Twenty-four hours earlier, her sister Sheranda M. Jenkins had sought help from the police, believing Ms. Hawes and her children were missing after a bizarre incident at the Augusta bus station.

Their mother called Ms. Jenkins on Wednesday morning and asked her to pick up Ms. Hawes at the bus station about 10 a.m., Ms. Jenkins told the Aiken Department of Public Safety. Detectives believe she had been in Atlanta but are still investigating where she went and who she saw.

Ms. Hawes at first refused to get off the bus with her children, insisting she had to go to Aiken, Ms. Jenkins told officers. Ms. Hawes finally relented when Ms. Jenkins offered to drive her and the children across the river.

For the next two hours, Ms. Hawes directed her sister to drive here and there, constantly changing her mind about where she wanted to go, according to Ms. Jenkins. When she stopped for gas at an Aiken station, Ms. Hawes wandered off with the children. Ms. Jenkins eventually found them at the Kentucky Fried Chicken on Richland Avenue.

At the restaurant, Ms. Hawes refused to leave and insisted she was fine, her sister said. Ms. Jenkins left them but became concerned when she couldn't reach her sister on her cell phone. She filed a missing person report about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Detective Larry Schander followed up on the report and spoke with an assistant manager at KFC. The assistant manager remembered Ms. Hawes "acting weird, maybe like she was on drugs or something but she was taking care of the kids ..." Detective Schander wrote in his report.

He closed his investigation Wednesday evening when he learned Ms. Hawes and her children were found at her apartment in the 2500 block of Lumpkin Road in Augusta.

Jina Anderson, a neighbor of Ms. Hawes in Shadowood Apartments, said she had been acting stressed and depressed.

Ms. Hawes was no longer working as a temporary clerk at a post office processing and distribution center on Eighth Street, said Tina Freeberg, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Postal Services. She would not comment about why Ms. Hawes was no longer employed.

Tragedy struck Ms. Hawes early in life. She was about 10 years old when her sister, 14-year-old Nicole Hawes, was shot to death. Nicole was a victim of a November 1995 drive-by shooting in Underwood Homes.

Maj. Ken Autry, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, said Friday that Ms. Hawes is talking with investigators, but her comments about her children don't make much sense.

No one may ever know why the children were killed, he said.

Capt. Gene Johnson said Friday that Ms. Hawes was on suicide watch and would be interviewed by the jail's visiting psychiatrist.

Sam B. Sibley, the public defender for the Augusta Judicial Circuit, said his staff interviewed Ms. Hawes on Friday and determined she qualifies for an appointed attorney. Their first act was to request a court-ordered mental examination.

Mr. Sibley said they made the request because of the circumstances of Ms. Hawes' arrest.

Staff writers Sandi Martin, Tom Corwin, Greg Gelpi, Tim Cox, Mike Wynn and Adam Folk contributed to this article.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (90) Add comment
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a crazy old man
30
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a crazy old man 12/01/07 - 06:30 am
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She qualifies for an

She qualifies for an appointed attorney, I wonder if they will spend as much as they did on that Nicholes fella in Atlanta?

blondi1
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blondi1 12/01/07 - 07:06 am
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ok so she had a sibling die

ok so she had a sibling die at a young age. Yet her other sister didnt go and kill anyone bc of that. I am 21 and my dad died when i was young, but i dont go killing my family or get strung out on drugs! what a way to justify this! thats just STUPID!!!!!!!!

WW1949
19
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WW1949 12/01/07 - 07:39 am
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Blondi1, no one is justifing

Blondi1, no one is justifing her actions. Statements are being made about her past and situations just before she killed her children. Nothing excuses her actions.

blondi1
0
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blondi1 12/01/07 - 08:02 am
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so she had a family member

so she had a family member die! Her other sister didnt go killing people. im 21 and my dad died when i was young but i didnt go killing people. what a way to justify this! Ridiculous.

cdee12120
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cdee12120 12/01/07 - 08:03 am
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It's too bad her sister

It's too bad her sister didn't leave her in the Kentucky Fried Chicken and take the kids... Knowing she was under the influence of drugs....She should have taken the kids. If her sister has a drug problem she should have known better. Child services should have been made aware of right away. She driving this girl under the influence of drugs all over creation because the girl wanted more drugs. One small move might have saved two children from suffering an agonizing death...

blondi1
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blondi1 12/01/07 - 08:06 am
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0
murderer

murderer

neena523
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neena523 12/01/07 - 08:15 am
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She was not on drugs!

She was not on drugs!

gods blessings
0
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gods blessings 12/01/07 - 08:28 am
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It is amazing how people take

It is amazing how people take one statement and run with it. It did not say that she was using drugs. It said she was acting as if. This woman apparently had some major issues. But her kids are no longer here because of her actions. She will get her day in court, But her kids are gone forever. Children are a precious gift and this woman took away that gift. She deserves what she gets. Which I feel is the book.

scooter32
25
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scooter32 12/01/07 - 08:38 am
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After reading these comments

After reading these comments I wasn't going to write, but after reading cdee12120's comment I had to .The assistant manager at the KFC restaurant didn't know if the lady was on drugs or not and I feel that her sister didn't know if she was on any drugs at the time. I think that had the sister felt like she was on drugs she would have alerted the authorities at that point. I don't think she would have let her nephew and niece remain with her if she had known.Sometimes people want to be left alone and maybe she felt that 's what her sister wanted and she left them alone after she couldn't get her to go back with her. You know we can all speculate about what happened, but we really don't know for sure.One thing we do know is that two precious children are dead aand their mother is charged with their deaths. Whatever was going on in her life,whatever problems she was having,or whatever the case maybe, I PRAY FOR ALL THREE OF THEM!

september 5th
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september 5th 12/01/07 - 08:40 am
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THE FAMILY NEEDS TO SHUT

THE FAMILY NEEDS TO SHUT UP!if they had talked to this mom (their niece and daughter) the way they are talking to the media, maybe they would have noticed her mental condition and got her some help! family: LEAVE YOUR 15 MINUTES OF FAME...GO TO THE JAIL AND TRY TO LOVE AND HELP JEANNETTE!..the news media will find another story tomorrow...

CKB
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CKB 12/01/07 - 09:08 am
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Everytime I read or hear

Everytime I read or hear about any child (age is not important here) who is killed by their parent, I have to wonder what horrible things the child went through. The majority of children are taught their parents are their best friends- no one can be trusted more. The realization of that type of trust is not there for them must be the most painful thing in the world. Sorry any child is ever faced with that.

80sbaby
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80sbaby 12/01/07 - 09:21 am
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I actually knew Michelle for

I actually knew Michelle for quite some time. I've never seen her do anything to harm anyone. I am in no way trying to justify what she did, but alot of things go wrong when you don't have God in your life. Maybe she was under so much pressure that she felt like she and her children no longer deserved to be here. We all get down sometimes but if your support system is weak then you will be weak as well.

teetot
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teetot 12/01/07 - 09:23 am
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The children are in a better

The children are in a better place now because they have done the most suffering. The grandmother or sister obviously did not care or want to be bothered with the children, or they would have stepped in and did something about the situation. They knew what was going on! Oh yeah now they want to say she was acting strange. It's too late!

AUG30904
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AUG30904 12/01/07 - 09:34 am
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we still love you

we still love you michelle.................. who are we to judge one another? michelle stay strong and pray. i remember michelle well and i know for a fact she didnt commit this crime. michelle i remember back in the day how we used spend the night with each other staying up all night and laughing and playing. we still love you michelle. we do! have faith in god, if he bring you to it,he;ll bring you through it....... stay strong

september 5th
1
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september 5th 12/01/07 - 09:59 am
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aug30904...you need mental

aug30904...you need mental health intervention also!

walkerjones
3
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walkerjones 12/01/07 - 10:32 am
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This is in response to

This is in response to AUG30904 - apparently you want to give support to Michelle. Thats good, but SHE IS GUILTY of killing her children. The only persons in the bathroom were her and her two kids...one dying and one already dead. Michelle was covered with blood and the knife was in her hands. How can you say that you know for a fact that she didn't commit this crime? Give your friend support, but stop being blind. SHE DID IT. We're only judging when we give our opinions as to way she did it (cuz we don't know). Lets pray that she gets some help!

SAYIT AINTSO
0
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SAYIT AINTSO 12/01/07 - 10:36 am
0
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It's absolutely appalling to

It's absolutely appalling to think about this situation. The mother was obviously having some real issues, but nothing will ever excuse her hienous act. There are other options she could have taken. All children are precious gifts from God. Although they are definetely in a better place, I pray for the family and friends that are suffering without those angels.

sdismuke
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sdismuke 12/01/07 - 10:41 am
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My prayers are with

My prayers are with Michelle's family. Don't you think that her sister is suffering right now wondering if she should have taken the children with her. God will judge Michelle's actions and living with herself knowing she took her children's lives will be her punishment. People cry out for help all the time but we as Christians don't always listen and come to their aid. I am hurt that she took the lives of her children but they are at peace and the family needs prayer to see them through this. Michelle's mother has lost her second daughter and her grandchildren so be mindful to pray for the family and let God deal with Michelle.

Rose
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Rose 12/01/07 - 11:08 am
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I hope the court system deals

I hope the court system deals with her.

mrharrison
0
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mrharrison 12/01/07 - 11:14 am
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Who are we to judge!We may

Who are we to judge!We may never know are understand why this had to happen.Only God knows.Jeanette wasn,t this mean and terrible person.Something did go wrong with her but what.I prefer not to judge but to pray for her and her family.

tw
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tw 12/01/07 - 11:21 am
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This is truely tragic. Two

This is truely tragic. Two innocent kids goneand the reason will probably never be known.Another person we should give out prayers and support to is the clerk at the store. I can't imagine what he or she is going through knowing this happened only feets away and there was nothing they could do but listen to the screams.

Rose
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Rose 12/01/07 - 11:21 am
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She was mean as hell to have

She was mean as hell to have killed her kids. That is my opinion. Call it judging if you want, but it is a fact. It is the way it is. Any female or male who kills a child is a monster. An evil hateful monster.

goodseed1
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goodseed1 12/01/07 - 11:23 am
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I think it was not the crime

I think it was not the crime of hatred, but the crime of desperation. It was a tragic choice a young desperate mother with two children made. I don’t think she hated her children so much to kill them. She loved them so that giving up her children to someone was not one of her options. If she had wanted to abandon her children, she could have done so before she reached the gas station. But how she loved her children was wrong, evil and self-destructive. It was not a planed perfect crime. It was an act of desperation in our community where we all share the responsibility of cause and effect.

Rose
17
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Rose 12/01/07 - 11:24 am
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She did not love her kids. if

She did not love her kids. if she loved them, she would not have harmed them.

Rose
17
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Rose 12/01/07 - 11:28 am
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All of you feeling sorry for

All of you feeling sorry for her. I can't see it. She is evil. Can't you understand what happened? The thing killed her kids. What if your parents had killed you? Did your parents have problems? But they never did kill you.

vicktotheend
0
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vicktotheend 12/01/07 - 12:03 pm
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Walk a mile or steps in

Walk a mile or steps in someone else's shoes. Continue to pray for this world, the parents and children. We are under attach.....Pray..Pray...Pray.

times-up
0
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times-up 12/01/07 - 12:09 pm
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This comment is for Rose. You

This comment is for Rose. You stated that Michelle did not love her kids. How do you know? The only way you could know would be if you were told and apparently you were not. As a mother of with an adult child, I am not judging. You never know what your children will do. Depression and stress affects people in different ways. No, I am not justifying what she did and I never will. The only thing that we can do now as a community is to try and understand, be there for those that we can help and pray for Michelle and her family. The lord is taking care of the children now.

timeforhealing
0
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timeforhealing 12/01/07 - 12:12 pm
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let us not judge, for that is

let us not judge, for that is not our right.
rip- shakayla & jordon - sweet angels in heaven.

80sbaby
0
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80sbaby 12/01/07 - 12:25 pm
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Apparently everyone has their

Apparently everyone has their own feelings in this situation. No one actually knows but God and Michelle, what she was feeling or thinking. Judging is not the thing to do. Pray that God has mercy on her confused soul. Illness is a serious issue and she was clearly ill. The Michelle I knew would have NEVER done anything like this. She was sweet and quiet. I even remember her before having children and she was no where near harmful.

buttercup30830
0
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buttercup30830 12/01/07 - 12:32 pm
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0
Something went wrong, and

Something went wrong, and only God knows what. But we must all realize that depression is real, and can have the power to take over strong minds just as well as weak ones. God bless this family and don't forget to donate money for the funeral-as she didn't have life insurance. At least we can show some concern for these kids, even if it had to come AFTER their deaths; should've been BEFORE. It's far too late to complain now; as one big loving family, lets do these kids some justice. DONATE. God bleass each of us during this sad time. Peace, Love, and Soul.

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