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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Hepkikyo
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Hepkikyo 01/08/09 - 10:32 am
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icanusethat - You sound very

icanusethat - You sound very bitter towards white people. These same white people are outraged over the death of two black children. Get it right.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 01/08/09 - 10:35 am
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SMH/Icanuse... does NOT CARE

SMH/Icanuse... does NOT CARE about black people. He only wants to ignite violence. He states rumor as if it were fact. Summary: BAIT.

GnipGnop1
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GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 10:35 am
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I'm surprised you can

I'm surprised you can understand how bitter she is. To me it's a rambling incoherent rabbling of crap. I did get that we are all klan members and it's all whitey's fault.

I_Wear_Lipstick_2
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I_Wear_Lipstick_2 01/08/09 - 10:38 am
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icanusethat - did you ever

icanusethat - did you ever think she left her car in ATL because she was premeditating the murders and was setting up her "insanity plea"? If she is as smart like you claim she is, maybe she's cold blooded too...

jack234
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jack234 01/08/09 - 10:43 am
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How can you kill your

How can you kill your children and not be insane? Lets hope she gets the help she needs.

truthisouttherestill
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truthisouttherestill 01/08/09 - 10:43 am
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what some of us think about

what some of us think about hawes has nothing to do with her color and if you read my post i mentioned several whites who killed their children who i think should fry too.......just you trying to start something here because of your racism not ours.......if you hurt a child you should pay.......regardless of race, color, religion, sex, etc.........period

ITDoc
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ITDoc 01/08/09 - 10:44 am
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Liberal: "Let's hope she gets

Liberal: "Let's hope she gets the help she needs" Conservative: "She ought to rot in hell". Any questions?

tfh
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tfh 01/08/09 - 10:46 am
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Any parent who kills their

Any parent who kills their own child is insane. I hope she gets the psychiatric help she needs, but she should never regain freedom.

Hepkikyo
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Hepkikyo 01/08/09 - 10:49 am
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If she wasn't insane at the

If she wasn't insane at the time, then she must have had a motive. How could she possibly have gained by doing this? What was the motive for a public execution of two beautiful innocent children? She's crazy.

ITDoc
1
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ITDoc 01/08/09 - 10:49 am
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tfh: That's a post I can 100%

tfh: That's a post I can 100% agree with. (9.46am)

truthisouttherestill
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truthisouttherestill 01/08/09 - 10:51 am
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freedom from responsibility,

freedom from responsibility, more money for herself, a man who didn't want the burden of someone elses children........lots of motives why some of these women do these things and then cry crazy to get away with it

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/08/09 - 10:52 am
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Why is it so hard for people

Why is it so hard for people to believe that this young girl is mentally ill. I agree, the death of these two young babies is so horrible to think about. Mental Illness is real and evidently this young girl needs some help. Someone asked about the knife. The article stated she was paranoid and thought someone was after her and the children. Maybe she had the knife as protection from whomever she thought was after her. We can ask why she did this and why she didn't do that all day long but reality is, her mind was not functioning normal and incapable of making rational decisions. Yeah, maybe her family should have taken a closer look at her behavior but we are making judgements after the fact. What happens when tomorrow a co-worker or family member who's been under a little stress lately does something horrible, out of character, and all we can say was, why didn't I see this coming or someone accuses you of not helping a family member. We are so busy trying to keep our own lives straight that we don't have time for our neighbor. Those babies are at peace with the Lord, hopefully Ms. Hawes will repond to treatment and get the help she needs.

Hepkikyo
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Hepkikyo 01/08/09 - 10:53 am
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Those are only good motives

Those are only good motives if you try to cover up the crime. You have to get away with it to realize those benifits. She did this in a public place. There was no cover up.

Forgiven2
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Forgiven2 01/08/09 - 10:55 am
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If you haven't walked in

If you haven't walked in someone elses shoes, don't past judgement. We are called to pray for her not crucifiy her in the press. She was found to have mental illness and hopefuly she will get the help she needs while confined to a mental hospital not a country club. She will no doubt have to carry what she has done for the rest of her life, we don't need to remind her of that. The same measure you judge someone is the same measue used to judge you.

Lorraine
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Lorraine 01/08/09 - 10:57 am
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First of all, Chief Judge

First of all, Chief Judge Overstreet made the best sound decision about the case involving Jeanette Hawes based on professional experts, a psychiatrist and a psychologist. I do not believe that lay persons without the necessary educational credentials and years of professional mental health experience have any room to draw any other conclusions.

truthisouttherestill
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truthisouttherestill 01/08/09 - 11:04 am
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a few months in a nut house

a few months in a nut house and then getting released to begin again......its called getting away with it

icanusethat
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icanusethat 01/08/09 - 11:08 am
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well go get that post ITDoc

well go get that post ITDoc ...i met elmore them brothers so go get the post where i said i knew him fool...i am white and i went down there and ask what happen and they so happen to be standing up there..it's still 2 sides to every story fool.it's clear ya'll sit behind a keyboard and judge everyday all day klan fool..and you scared to go ask what happen..white people always be the one to judge but have all kinda dirt around there door.

GnipGnop1
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GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 11:10 am
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I believe as a tax paying

I believe as a tax paying citizen and a voter I have every right to demand justice in my community. I also have the right to make sure children are protected. As for your so called professional experts? For the right money you can get either to testify for either side as experts, looking at the same evidence and coming up with different conclusions. HOGWASH! I agree that she should have some type of mental treatment but she should never even have a remote chance of seeing the outside of a jail cell....EVER!

KingJames
10
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KingJames 01/08/09 - 11:11 am
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A woman in Norfolk, VA a few

A woman in Norfolk, VA a few years ago killed her children at home, then drove to a large bridge and jumped. Ms. Hawes killed her kids in a public restroom, but didn't commit suicide. The similarities are that everyone else is left to wonder what could have pushed a mother over the edge. Had Ms. Hawes killed herself as well, would any of you still be calling her an actress? I don't think so. I think she probably would have harmed herself too had she not been stopped. Those who say that they know people with mental illness who would never harm anyone should also realize that there are certain degrees of insanity, and consider themselves fortunate that they nor anyone they know have crossed that line. The credentials of one of the doctors are stated in the article. Neither doctor would have been fooled by someone looking to escape the death penalty. The only thing sadder than this tragedy is the people who don't understand that there is no template for mental illness. You all say a mother who kills her kids must be insane. Then, you don't accept that insanity is not an excuse but an illness.

equalityforall
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equalityforall 01/08/09 - 11:11 am
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Lord help her........

Lord help her........

Realist1
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Realist1 01/08/09 - 11:12 am
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First, I need to say that I

First, I need to say that I don't condone killing anyone. A child is even worse. But, until all of you holier than thou sane people out there have experienced some sort of mental illness, you have no place to comment. It is easy to sit back and say what you would or would not do when you are thinking rationally. I have known others, and also been in the position myself where I did and said things that I condemned others for before. I also thought mental illness was a convenient excuse until it happened to me. Regardless what you good christian folk think, it is a real condition and will make you lose complete control of your thoughts and actions. You WILL do things you would not normally even consider. I am just thankful that I was able to get help before I completely lost it and did something as horrible as this. I know I will be chastised and reviled for speaking out here, but until you live it you have no idea what you are talking about. It is all talk from people who have no idea what the mind is capable of when it is not functioning properly. I've had my say, now all you good christian people tear me up.

icanusethat
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icanusethat 01/08/09 - 11:13 am
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hey i am white as snow but

hey i am white as snow but one thing i do know about ya'll white people on here believe everything what the news say and what the police say..ya'll are fools..ya'll are a keyboard thug klan who be here all day everyday judging what black people do..emma go find some stuff about what white people do and ya'll judge that.

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 01/08/09 - 11:13 am
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There are INSANE people all

There are INSANE people all across the world, most who do this type of stuff are demonically influenced, say what you want, it's the truth.

GnipGnop1
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GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 11:14 am
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Well no matter what color you

Well no matter what color you are we know what substance you are full of.

YESWECAN
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YESWECAN 01/08/09 - 11:16 am
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I have to say that I can't

I have to say that I can't believe they actually release how many times she stabbed her kids. ANYONE WHO CAN DO THAT TO THERE KIDS...WHO THEY CARRIED INSIDE OF THEM...IS DEFINITELY INSANE!! My son is my world...and being a mommy is the best...this story is sooooooooooooooooo sad....she stab her child 11 times....she definitely should be commited.

I4PUTT
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I4PUTT 01/08/09 - 11:21 am
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I know for a fact one can

I know for a fact one can fake mental illness. I have been faking sanity for years. If the voices in her head told her to stab her children after she got in the convenience store and locked herself in, who told her to carry that knife with her from home? Not everyone who kills their child is insane. Some are just plain evil. Total hysterectomy now. Feedom when hell freezes over.

icanusethat
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icanusethat 01/08/09 - 11:24 am
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no what i don't care for is

no what i don't care for is how the newspaper klan crew comes here every morning and down talk black people..i'm white and i don't care for ya'll fools..the ones who are barking the loudest are the ones who have more dirt around there door then anybody lonely klan fools

I4PUTT
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I4PUTT 01/08/09 - 11:27 am
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icanusethat...ain't nobody

icanusethat...ain't nobody taking the bait here...try harder

GSneed
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GSneed 01/08/09 - 11:28 am
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BillyIdol and the "newspaper

BillyIdol and the "newspaper klan" seem to have somehow turn this into a "you people" thing. Again, foaming at the mouth to bring racial divide into this matter. Does anyone remember the 2 mothers in TX, one who recently drowned all her children in the tub and the other that hung them all in her closet? Neither mother was Black, yet I dont see you calling for the death penalty of those ladies. They were considered mentally ill. Oh I get it, white and you commit this heinous crime and you're just crazy...Black and you deserve the needle. Geez, my people cant get a break here in Augusta!

I4PUTT
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I4PUTT 01/08/09 - 11:29 am
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The frequent use of words

The frequent use of words like whitey, cracker, hate, race and bigot might help though

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