Woman who killed 2 children in 2007 will be committed

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A 23-year-old Augusta mother who stabbed her two children to death and was found not guilty by reason of insanity Wednesday told a doctor who examined her that she gave in to the voices in her head demanding she kill them.

Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet, who presided over Jeanette M. Hawes' case and conducted Wednesday's bench trial in Richmond County Superior Court, issued the verdict on the murder charges and ordered Ms. Hawes committed.

The only issue Wednesday was Ms. Hawes' mental state when she killed her children in November 2007.

To the two doctors who examined Ms. Hawes, it was clear she was insane at the time she killed Shakayla Hawes, 3, and Jordan Hawes, 1, in the bathroom of a Lumpkin Road convenience store.

She stabbed Shakayla 11 times over her heart, piercing it once, according to the autopsy report. The toddler had a cut on her hand consistent with a defensive wound. The boy had two cuts in the heart area and four small puncture marks on his chest. One of the cuts went through his heart, according to the autopsy report.

Susan Haverstock, a board-certified psychiatrist and associate clinical professor at the Medical College of Georgia, testified that she believes Ms. Hawes suffered a psychotic break common to people as they develop schizophrenia.

Ms. Hawes became paranoid and believed people she worked with at the post office were out to get her months before the killings. She began having crying spells and was laid off or fired, Dr. Haverstock found. Ms. Hawes began hearing voices, and in July 2007 she was prescribed an antidepressant because she was depressed, anxious and not sleeping well.

In the days leading up to the stabbings, the paranoia increased. She began a bizarre journey to Atlanta, back to Augusta and then to Aiken with her two children in tow, the doctor said.

The voices she had been hearing for months were now directing her actions, the doctor found.

On Nov. 29, 2007, she picked up a kitchen knife and walked about a mile with her children to the Texaco gas station on Lumpkin Road.

"I didn't want them to have to run anymore," Ms. Hawes told Dr. Haverstock. "I was trying to protect them ... to stop them from being chased.

"I heard voices in the bathroom telling me to stab my kids."

Psychologist Gordon Brown, who also evaluated Ms. Hawes, testified that he agreed Ms. Hawes was acting with a delusional compulsion and was unable to tell right from wrong.

Assistant District Attorney Philip Catalano said prosecutors looked at every piece of evidence that might indicate Ms. Hawes was sane but nothing countered the doctors' findings.

Defense attorney Barry Middleton asked the judge for the not guilty verdict, arguing that the evidence presented proved Ms. Hawes was not sane when she killed the children.

The judge agreed.

In the courtroom, Ms. Hawes sobbed into a pile of tissue as Mr. Middleton read the summary of the stipulation of the facts that she agreed to.

Ms. Hawes will undergo a mental evaluation within 30 days, and a report will be prepared for Judge Overstreet. State law gives the judge the responsibility to determine if and when a commitment to a mental hospital is no longer necessary.

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

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ITDoc
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ITDoc 01/08/09 - 08:48 am
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Another nail in the coffin of

Another nail in the coffin of personal responsibility. When will the cries begin to prosecute those who assisted her in the two days preceeding her killing spree? Why not prosecute the shrink who failed to protect the children? Why? Because SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF HER KIDS. I agree with Overstreet's sentence for her time will be much more difficult unprotected in the state mental prison than it would've been in protective custody in a "normal" state prison. Hawes will hear much more than just voices in her head.

laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 08:48 am
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I WEAR LIPSTICK 2 some things

I WEAR LIPSTICK 2 some things can't be determined in one visit unless they were swinging on the chandelier or acting totally bizaare. She was crying out to her family and they didn't even detect it.

christian134
1
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christian134 01/08/09 - 08:52 am
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laprince I will say what I

laprince I will say what I have to say to Judges such as Overstreet whenever I please...These people may have problems...That is a given but you do not harm the babies...You harm yourselves not the babies...You who seek to deride my comments just stop for a moment and look to your own children, your grandchildren...If they were stabbed repeatedly holding up their little hands to stop the one person in the whole world they trusted, screaming and crying in terror what would you do? Tell me would you?...I am Christian and I pray always for those who are like this murderess to find redemption from God but I do not expect people like her to, possibly, walk free one day in this life...

christian134
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christian134 01/08/09 - 08:55 am
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Hypo take your comments and

Hypo take your comments and try them on someone who actually cares what your take is on this particular comment of mine concerning the spousal abuse...I put the two in the same category wondering if Judge Overstreet would sentence them to like sentences...I don't believe he would...How about you?

christian134
1
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christian134 01/08/09 - 08:56 am
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You want to know something in

You want to know something in all my failings in this life I never once killed my children lorrainesmith...Big difference...

HYPOCRITES 08
7
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/08/09 - 08:58 am
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Yes, I do know her

Yes, I do know her personally. I have known her since the day she was born. I was there after see watched her sister get murdered. I was there after this tragedy took place. I was there for the children's funeral and I was there recently when they buried her Mother. Having said all of that even if I did not know her personally, I would defer to the Professional before I listen to the same old gang that has never had anything good to say about poor people or those less fortunate than they are. No one wanted this to happen and if we could go back and change things we would but this is real life where you cannot turn back the clock. She needed and need help, hopefully she will get it now.

laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 08:59 am
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christian134 There is a

christian134 There is a scripture in the Bible that says love thy neighbor as you love thyself. If you don't love yourself most times you don't love anyone else. Have you ever had a demonic attack. Read about the man with the Legion of demons, he was cutting himself. Those demons in her made her take away the most precious things in her life and now she has to live hell on earth in torment.

emt_36_i
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emt_36_i 01/08/09 - 09:00 am
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The article says that she

The article says that she picked up a knife and walked a mile with the children. Ok, but what was her intentions with the knife in the first place? And, then the voices tell her to kill the kids in the bathroom? Once again, why did she even have the knife. To walk that far with your kids and a knife would make one think that it was premeditated.

cparker
83
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cparker 01/08/09 - 09:00 am
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laprince..... I have read all

laprince..... I have read all the comments & it seems everyone acknowledges she did have some sort of mental break. Regardless of why it happened, many of us are just not willing to wait for another child to be killed. I read this morning that a mother in Washington state killed a new born by drowning him in the toilet & burying him in the landfill. I don't care what the excuse is, I don't want our children to die this senseless. Mental sickness is a legal justification, but the death of two children hurts regardless. Can you see where most people are coming from? The bible speaks of the day when parents will be without natural affection.... I am worried that day has come.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/08/09 - 09:01 am
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If you had listen to the

If you had listen to the Judge and D.A. they said she had no criminal record and no history of drug abuse. I can say you probably have a record and can others say that your family's name is no stranger.

I_Wear_Lipstick_2
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I_Wear_Lipstick_2 01/08/09 - 09:01 am
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Why did NO ONE step in and

Why did NO ONE step in and take her children away from her? If everyone who knew her, talked with her, medicated her, evaluated her, whatever....knew something was not right, why didn't anyone say - these kids might be in danger....we have to get her help!?! Sounds like she was crying out for help for months and no one listened.

ITDoc
1
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ITDoc 01/08/09 - 09:03 am
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CParker: That day has indeed

CParker: That day has indeed passed us by.

christian134
1
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christian134 01/08/09 - 09:05 am
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If that was your children she

If that was your children she stabbed repeatedly laprince I still would have to hold her accountable in this life for her actions...God can and will free her from the evil...Pray for her but let her bear the responsibility.

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 01/08/09 - 09:07 am
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SMH claimed to know Elmore

SMH claimed to know Elmore personally. He claimed to be present when he was shot. Now SMH claims to know this Murderess also. Maybe sometime soon, we'll be commenting on SMH's misfortunes. It do seem to be who he be runnin wit.

cparker
83
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cparker 01/08/09 - 09:07 am
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icanusethat & HYPO, I

icanusethat & HYPO, I appreciate you guys defending her. But remember we are talking about two children. I want what's best for the mother, but I wished she had allowed someone to do what was best her children too.

laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 09:07 am
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christian134 You keep saying

christian134 You keep saying I haven't killed my children, Well pat yourself on the back. I haven't either and I don't think nobody else on her has either. You are acting like a proud Peacock that don't have any understanding of how this could happen. You need to read your bible more or read up on mental illness.You are puffed up. Pride comes before a fall. Be careful.

Hepkikyo
0
Points
Hepkikyo 01/08/09 - 09:08 am
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Remember Elmore, the dead

Remember Elmore, the dead drug dealer? It was his sister who killed this womans 14 year old sister in the drive by shooting. I hate what she did to her kids. I think she must have been insane at the time to do that. She's had a rough life. It won't be getting any better anytime soon.

dale88fan
0
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dale88fan 01/08/09 - 09:08 am
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Only in todays sick world

Only in todays sick world this woman gets away with this act. KILL the F^&$^% B^$^ the same way she killed those innocent children.

humbleopinion
1
Points
humbleopinion 01/08/09 - 09:09 am
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It seems that you can commit

It seems that you can commit violent crimes of many types and have light sentences if you are lucky enough to be in the courtroom of "judge" Overstreet.........

GnipGnop1
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GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 09:09 am
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Hypo lots of people have

Hypo lots of people have tragic events happen in their lives and they don't murder their children. Your children look to you, their parent, to protect them from all the evils in the world. The fact that she locked herself in a secluded place tells me she knew what she was doing was wrong. I don't care if you are white, black, yellow, brown or purple with pink polka dots. Anyone that murders someone has mental illness. So what? We cannot risk another child's life. I would prefer they strap a needle in her arm and send her to her maker but I would accept her being incarcerated in a mental institution for the rest of her life. The way this sentence is structured there is a possibility that she will be on the streets sooner than you think. The system has failed those 2 children and any future children she might have or come in contact with.

icanusethat
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icanusethat 01/08/09 - 09:10 am
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ITDoc you are a lying fool i

ITDoc you are a lying fool i never said i knew elmore

getalife
4
Points
getalife 01/08/09 - 09:10 am
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I think anyone can fake

I think anyone can fake mental illness. I think she was taking drugs and had a fight with her boyfriend and she thought she had to get rid of the two children so she could be with her boyfriend. Anyone that murders a child is insane, but not innocent of the crime. This is another miscarriage of justice. She will be back in the public in a few years and that is really scary.

truthisouttherestill
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truthisouttherestill 01/08/09 - 09:11 am
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lalaprincess......why don't

lalaprincess......why don't you quote proverbs at those two children she killed.....oh you can't theyre dead.........no one who harms children should ever get a pass in my book........not hawes, yates, anthony, smallwood, jacks, or smith or any of the others who intentional kill their children......and if judges and society do decide to give them a free pass then they should make sure they can never have any more children of their own, or be allowed to be near anyone elses children.......neither you nor anyone else has to like my opinion......an just because it is my opinion does not make me evil.........evil is the child killer who gets away with it

ITDoc
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ITDoc 01/08/09 - 09:14 am
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And you're an illiterate

And you're an illiterate spore on the pond of the ghetto. You never knew your sperm donor, and are merely killing time till the law comes down on you. I needn't go and get your postings claiming knowlege of Elmore, enough here have read it. I may indeed be a fool, but I won't lose sleep worrying about my thug friends or about my own freedoms. May you use your car as a weapon real soon, SomeMoronHeadcase.

cparker
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cparker 01/08/09 - 09:15 am
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christian134.... The verdict

christian134.... The verdict & punishment are correct. Although her crime is about as bad as it gets, the judge did the right thing. I remember thinking when they gave Yates life in prison as though she was sane. On appeal her conviction was overturned and she was found guilty be reason of insanity. I wish the children could have been saved. Thier deaths will linger in our minds forever, especially when on Lumpkin Road. Everytime I pass the store I think about this incident.

laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 09:17 am
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She did try to get help from

She did try to get help from her family but they rejected her. Rejection is a hurtful thing in any family. I hate that this happened to those children and all I can say they are in a better place receiving all the love from God the Father

truthisouttherestill
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truthisouttherestill 01/08/09 - 09:19 am
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then someone should take the

then someone should take the family to court for the wrongful death of those children and their butts should be locked up too

laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 09:23 am
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truthissouttherestill, your

truthissouttherestill, your opinion, you have a right to it just like everyone else. I now place you in the hands of God. Talk to him about it.

icanusethat
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icanusethat 01/08/09 - 09:26 am
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one thing i do know about

one thing i do know about this board the klan on here do not like black people..any post dealing with a black they think they are in the wrong...but when that white boy killed that lady on a high speed chase i know for a fact some of ya'll said the sentencing they gave him was fair..but yet she killed her kids because she had a break down ya'll think she should die..i don't care what nobody say this girl was druged some happen to her in atlanta because she came back with no car...she could've been rape anything ...ya'll klan members be here everyday emma call ya'll the newspaper klan crew..i'm glad she getting help and i'm glad they let her off..she did'nt know she had killed her kids to the stupid fool who said that she knew...and to the stupid fools she was doing some with herself unlike some of these crazy fools out here...we know ya'll racist on here..bunch of old white people who get here early in the morning because they have no life and sit here and judge people.

ripjones
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ripjones 01/08/09 - 09:31 am
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She came back from Atlanta on

She came back from Atlanta on the bus, because the car she drove broke down. This was in the news yesterday.

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