Hundreds attend children's funeral

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Angela Walker and Shanon Waites wiped tears from their eyes as they left the viewing Wednesday for two children slain last week.

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Relatives of Shakayla and Jordan Hawes arrive at Whole Life Ministries in limousines alongside a line of mourners for the funeral of the two siblings who were stabbed to death last week.  Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Relatives of Shakayla and Jordan Hawes arrive at Whole Life Ministries in limousines alongside a line of mourners for the funeral of the two siblings who were stabbed to death last week.

The two women did not know Shakayla and Jordan Hawes, but they were like hundreds of others who were touched by the children's deaths.

"The children looked beautiful," Ms. Walker said. "Like angels."

About 800 people attended the service at Whole Life Ministries on Washington Road, according to Herb Pemberton, an usher. Extra chairs were added to an upstairs fellowship hall for overflow, he said.

Not in attendance was Jeannette Michelle Hawes, the mother of the 3-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy who has been charged with murder in their deaths.

Ms. Hawes, who has remained on suicide watch since her arrest Nov. 29, was barred from attending according to the rules of the Richmond County Jail. Lt. Bill Reeves said no inmate is allowed to attend a funeral without specific approval from the sheriff.

During the service, Roy Searles, an assistant funeral staff member at Mays Mortuary, loaded a number of small stuffed animals into the back of the hearse that would carry the children to their burial site at Mount Olive Memorial Gardens on Deans Bridge Road. The stuffed animals had been left at a makeshift memorial near the bathroom where the children were killed inside the Patee gas station at Lumpkin and Richmond Hill roads, Mr. Searles said.

The media was barred from the service, but an Augusta Chronicle reporter was allowed to attend the viewing of the children.

Inside, mourners sobbed quietly as they filed past the bodies -- their white caskets flanked by flowers and more stuffed animals.

Family friend Theresa McNeil, who called the service "lovely," said she believes Ms. Hawes was not in her right mind when the children were killed.

"I know she loved her kids, her babies," Ms. McNeil said. "Something had to go wrong. That ain't the Michelle I knew who did that."

Investigator Tom Johnson, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, said they are still trying to piece together a timeline of what happened to Ms. Hawes and her children before their deaths. He asked that anyone who had contact with her in the week before the slayings to call the sheriff's office at (706) 821-1080.

Helen Blocker-Adams, a local radio talk show host who coordinated a memorial fund to help pay for Wednesday's burials, said $18,125 had been raised as of Wednesday morning.

"The donations more than covered the funeral expenses," she said, adding that the Hawes family has been very appreciative for the outpouring of support.

Any remaining money in the fund, she said, will be donated to the United Way with specific requests to assist children's and women's nonprofit abuse organizations.

Staff Writer Timothy Cox contributed to this article.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

DONATIONS


Those wishing to contribute to the memorial fund for Shakayla and Jordan Hawes can do so at area Georgia Bank and Trust Co. branches until Dec. 15.

Comments (182) Add comment
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avidreader
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avidreader 12/06/07 - 06:34 am
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Jeannette Hawes was my

Jeannette Hawes was my student in high school. My only memory of her is that she rarely showed up for class. I think she eventually fell through the cracks and dropped out.

pantherluvcik
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pantherluvcik 12/06/07 - 07:21 am
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It's nice to know so many

It's nice to know so many people cared enough to come out and pay their respects.

pantherluvcik
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pantherluvcik 12/06/07 - 07:22 am
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I hope they also got them

I hope they also got them nice head stones with the money they raised.

ANGEL
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ANGEL 12/06/07 - 08:03 am
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God Bless the family of the

God Bless the family of the children. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. Only God can judge. May God be with you all during this time.

worriedboutdafuture
5
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worriedboutdafuture 12/06/07 - 08:27 am
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Anger is the first thing that

Anger is the first thing that pops into my mind when it comes to the tragic deaths of these two beautiful children. The blame not only lies with the mother (Only God Knows why) who did this terrible thing. It should be shouldered by all those so called family and now we see, fake friends muggin for photo ops and interview time with the local media!!!! They knew this young woman was in trouble long before this occurred. And I'm willin ta bet no one cared or gave a Damn at that moment when trouble came her way!! Lives are now destroyed before they are even started a young woman is now in the hands of the justice system simply because "NOBODY CARED THEN !!!" Say what you will about my comments,But this situation is going on in far to many families today! Mine too! You are Right GOD IS JUDGING ALL OF US!! His or her problems should be all of our problems!!
Hug your sons, daughters, brothers and sisters and shoulder their burdens as your own. And Just maybe we won't find another desperate brother or sister in the same dire circumstances as this beautiful young woman, who had so much to give to the world and her now gone children. God watches and hears us all !!!!

saintlover
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saintlover 12/06/07 - 08:44 am
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Why has no one mentions these

Why has no one mentions these childrens father?

stunna
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stunna 12/06/07 - 08:51 am
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Worried bout da future, your

Worried bout da future, your comment couldn't have been any better, you just spoke the truth, and my friend agrees also. Those are true spoken words. Honey you hit the nail on the head. And when you said being in the media that was right up Helen Blocker Adams alley. Why don't she go somewhere and sit down.

tmax72
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tmax72 12/06/07 - 08:53 am
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Worried I agree with you

Worried I agree with you whole heartedly. Myself, husband, and two children have been a family for almost 16 years and in that time we have fought adversity time and time again. We have had struggles almost everyday of that time but we find ourselves looking to each other for love, support, and guidance. In this day and age, you almost feel as if there is no future and if there is why would anyone want to be apart of it. I feel for my children and everyone else's but unless we go back to grassroots and start taking care of families not just when there is problems but all the time there is no way we as a species is going to survive. There was a time when no one turned their backs when you needed help they were at your door asking what they can do now it is oh no I hope they dont come to me for help. I was raised in a small town atmosphere and that is what I strive for with my children. I have taught them to never run from someone in need but think of how it would be if it were you in that situation. People need to think about the whole community not just themselves. Many only realize this when something tragic happens and then sit and wonder what could have been done to...

tmax72
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tmax72 12/06/07 - 08:56 am
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part 2... prevent this from

part 2... prevent this from happening well if you had of just stopped and thought before it happened about what the other person was going through and how might just a small incident effect their lives and indirectly the lives of so many others, the world would be a much better place. I believe int he pay it forward attitude, it may not be something extravegant but a smile sent to someone in despair can do miracles. Think about how you would want people to treat you and then go out and spread some sunshine we have to many rain clouds as it is.

pofwe
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pofwe 12/06/07 - 09:02 am
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saintlover, since the

saintlover, since the children had their mother's maiden name, Hawes. She probably didn't know the "babies' daddy name." But somebody should. Maybe Daddy?

tmax72
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tmax72 12/06/07 - 09:07 am
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maybe the fathers did not

maybe the fathers did not want to come forward thinking they would have to pay for the funeral. Obviously they did not pay child support or she would not have been int he financial situation she was.

dworth1
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dworth1 12/06/07 - 09:10 am
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worriedboutdafuture what you

worriedboutdafuture what you said is so true all of our families have problems but if hers was there for her maybe these kids would still be alive today.

alexis
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alexis 12/06/07 - 09:14 am
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i bet some people showed up

i bet some people showed up just to see the babies bodies... that's terribly sad!
my heart goes out to those who truly mourn.

KingJames
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KingJames 12/06/07 - 09:39 am
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Pofwe and tmax72, you all

Pofwe and tmax72, you all don't know that Ms. Hawes didn't know who was the father or even fathers of her children! Lots of women who have children won't give them their father's names, even if they are in good relationships with the fathers. You don't know what her financial situation was, or that the father(s) didn't pay child support. Unless I missed something in the many articles that have been printed since the murders happened, you are drawing conclusions. Please tell me which article in the AC said that Ms. Hawes didn't know who fathered her children, or that the father(s) didn't pay child support. I do remember reading that she was an out of work postal employee. Make no mistake about it, you might be correct since no father has been mentioned, but please let me know where you are getting your information. She didn't make the babies by herself, and the father(s) should have come forward a long time ago. I believe the daddy situation played a part in it, though, but I won't make sensational statements about it as you all have. The community cares and would have still donated to cover the cost of the funeral just as it has with so many other childrens' deaths.

prodigyshadow
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prodigyshadow 12/06/07 - 09:45 am
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I haven't said to much about

I haven't said to much about this young lady, or her family. But let me take a minute of your time to say that people must really be careful with the judgement that they place on others because there's a thin line between sane and unsane. We don't know what went on in her head, years and years of silent devasation it's just that some break and some don't , some have people to meet them where they are just in time like angels waiting for the right opportunity to catch you before you break, you see i'm like tmax we go through this every day but what happen to the moral and values of our culture and country, I'm i my brothers keep? I'm going to leave you with this parable and poem. If i had a yellow rose for everytime GOD thought of us today, we would have a garden, and in this garden there would be no lies, treachary, or deceit, just you, I and the spirit, so if we're face with a dillemma what would you change, Thank God that some decided to change there choice,in a nic of time so first i give you the Rose which represent my LOVE, Next I grant you with the Carnation which represent unity, and finally i give you the Lillies that represent Peace that surpassess all understanding.

honeydelyte
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honeydelyte 12/06/07 - 09:54 am
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God has a reason for

God has a reason for everything! We definetly cannot question him why? But instead continue to pray for the family in there time of bereavement. And surely pray for the mind of the mother. We all do not know how we will leave this earth, sadly Shakayla and Jordan didn't know it would be this way. But just remember, God only takes back what belongs to him! All the judging and disputing back and forth, Surely "I pray we'll all be ready for Christ return."

lucki_ducki02
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lucki_ducki02 12/06/07 - 09:56 am
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worried you are so right.

worried you are so right. some people are trying to turn this into a media fest when they should be focussing on what the real issue is. Two gorgeous little babies were slaughtered to death. They were only babies! what the HELL did they ever do to deserve that? They didnt ask to be born. Im sorry i lost a child and i know plenty of people with children and NONE of them said that they have EVER been so mad or out of thier minds enough to want to kill thier own flesh and blood. Im so sick and tired of everyone using the insanity excuse. she knew what she was doing. why else would she have brought the knife along and why was she doing it in a public area? she wanted to be caught cause she didnt care. may the Lord have pity on her and hold her babies close and erase thier memories of the horrendous crime and replace it with the innocent dreams of little ones. as for the "family" and "friends" quit trying to make yourselves look oh Holier than Thou in front of the media. You knew what was going on and yet you stood by and did NOTHING. You might not have had that knife if your hand but i damn sure can tell you that you had as much a part in those innocent babies murders as she did!

ShakingMyHeadInShame
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ShakingMyHeadInShame 12/06/07 - 09:56 am
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Why is it that when someone

Why is it that when someone in the public eye want to help in a situation like this, they are criticized? Ms. Blocker Adams should be applauded! here in Atlanta, a family was burned out and all the children died. The grandmother could not afford the funeral bill. Tyler Perry stepped in and took care of the remainder of the bill after the community donated funds freely. You should be thankful for people that step up to the plate. I noticed that no one else took the reins. All of those that assisted her in this venture deserve accolades to the highest. Be thankful and stopped complaining. Ya'll trip TOO MUCH!!

RebelTA
1
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RebelTA 12/06/07 - 10:08 am
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Shame on anyone that went to

Shame on anyone that went to this that did not know the people involved. This was not a circus show for the sick minded curious this was a tradegy and if you did not know this family you had NO business being there.

tonytone1954
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tonytone1954 12/06/07 - 10:13 am
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prodigyshadow and honeydelyte

prodigyshadow and honeydelyte said everything I wanted to say
and also seem to show that what you think sometimes can not be seen or felt until the shoe is on the other foot. I commend them and wish some of the people who are so critical would try to change things by becoming part of the solution and stop promoting the problem.

Art
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Art 12/06/07 - 10:17 am
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I wish to thanks the preacher

I wish to thanks the preacher and church that held the service for the kids. Thanks

lucki_ducki02
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lucki_ducki02 12/06/07 - 10:21 am
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tired of the whining-how

tired of the whining-how immature can you be? ALOT of people went to the childrens funeral to show them support and love. Had i not been working i would have attended myself to show those two little babies that not everyone is evil and that there are people out there that do care. seriously would you call othere children that attended with thier parents or families that came to show support sick minded? grow up! in the time of tragedy support comes from all around. i would be humbled if something tragic happend to my family and i had this much support and love from strangers. tragedy brings people together and its sad to say that innocent babies had to be murdered to bring a town together.

jmcnorrill
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jmcnorrill 12/06/07 - 10:22 am
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i am a mother of two children

i am a mother of two children my children carry my last name i know who my children father is what difference does that makes who cares who the father is that's not gonna bring those little babies back to this world that was so rude to make such a low down statement those babies were inicent in the site of god although it was wrong for that mother to take her children's lives we will never know what was she thinking when she did this crime and the father is not the issue we're talking about two little children that will never have a future. god bless the hawes family and stay strong

belapris55
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belapris55 12/06/07 - 10:26 am
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no god no peace know god know

no god no peace know god know peace, that was the situation, god could have change the out come ,however her surroundings had no god, so god gave the children peace and now gods want her to know him, in this world of no god he has an always will work in mysteries ways, to live is christ , to die is gain, eternity is what you should be living for ,which is to understand the word of god never fails, so people if you know god than these children are in the state of eternal peace,know god know peace,,,,,,,,amen

SunDown
2
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SunDown 12/06/07 - 10:35 am
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belapris55... what a bunch of

belapris55... what a bunch of dribble.

missashle
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missashle 12/06/07 - 10:37 am
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if everyone is feeling so

if everyone is feeling so generous what didn't the people conducting the funeral donate their services. wonder what the final bill is going to total? i'm sure after everyone has taken their cut, not much will actually go to charity. the majority of that money should be donated in the children's name.

sexy kat123
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sexy kat123 12/06/07 - 10:42 am
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TIRED OF THE WHINING you need

TIRED OF THE WHINING you need to shut up becauce if it wasn't for everyone coming together the funeral wouldn't of been so nice so keep your stupid comments to yourself.

What a Day
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What a Day 12/06/07 - 10:54 am
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It's obvious by looking at

It's obvious by looking at both children that they were from the same man. It doesn't matter who he was/is. What matters is that he wasn't man enough to step forward to claim his own children after the fact. Or maybe, he is so wrecked right now by the tragedy that it's affected him as well. Maybe the guy she was chasing in Atlanta before the incident is the father. It really doesn't matter though. Those were two of the most beautiful children I've ever seen. God rest their souls.

SunDown
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SunDown 12/06/07 - 10:57 am
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Maybe he's in prison.

Maybe he's in prison.

rachell03
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rachell03 12/06/07 - 11:11 am
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This is so sad all I can do

This is so sad all I can do when I read this is cry.

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