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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laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 11:25 am
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jkitchens it may seem like

jkitchens it may seem like that but you can't say that about every case. I feel your anger but you have to really look at the overall picture her.

suburbsofWestAugustaConi
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suburbsofWestAugustaConi 01/08/09 - 11:25 am
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My daughter who attends UGA

My daughter who attends UGA in Athens went to ARC with Michelle Hawes. She says she was a nice and quiet girl at school. My prayers go out to the family.

christian134
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christian134 01/08/09 - 11:27 am
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laprince you go sit and hold

laprince you go sit and hold her hand because this one person will not...Oh by the way to come back at me for standing up for the innocent is not something I banter back and forth with folks who want to speak out for the criminal with such outstanding hubris...I merely used my statement of going through rough patches over my many years, raising my children and never once did I resort to killing...It is in no way meant to hawk out my own "high and mighty" standard which by the way would only come from someone who doesn't seem to feel the horrors of the children but feels first for the criminal....So you take what you want out of what I have commented and talk to someone who is going to listen to you since it will not be I...

NappyJackson
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NappyJackson 01/08/09 - 11:27 am
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Karmakills123: "LBJ managed

Karmakills123: "LBJ managed to destroy the black family by seducing the black women with welfare checks and making black men obsolete."
Obsolete, as defined by dictionary.com: "imperfectly developed or rudimentary in comparison with the corresponding character in other individuals, as of the opposite sex or of a related species."
.....This is not meant as a commentary on any race, this goes for everyone: stop placing blame anywhere you can and take accountability for your own actions and lives.

laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 11:29 am
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GnipGnop nobody is going to

GnipGnop nobody is going to mess with your one track mind either. MR. DEATH PENALTY. I'm glad you don't have the keys to Hell because we will all be in there. You would throw all of us in ther as soon as we say or do something you don't like. Thank God for Jesus who took those keys from Satan.. You got the right one now buddy...

mable8
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mable8 01/08/09 - 11:31 am
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There were plenty of red

There were plenty of red flags to indicate how severe this woman's illness had become; who was the physician treating her? He/lShe should share the blame in the senseless killings of the children. Schizophrenia is NOT curable; it is only controlled by medication. The problem is that too many who suffer from this illness refuse to be medication compliant, which may have been the case here. The red flags were indicators to the physician that no one was safe to be around her and she should have been involuntarily committed for emergency treatment in order to stabilize her condition; how awful that the attending physician missed this call. She most likely will not serve a lengthy stay at the hsopital; all it takes is for two consenting physicians to say she is "stable." Once the judge is notified, he will release her and the community will be safe only as long as she continues her medication. Insanity pleas should not be allowed where planning a crime is evidenced as in this and the Yates case. A more appropriate verdict would have been Guilty, but insane; at least then she would be transferred to a prison to serve the remainder of a sentence.

GnipGnop1
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GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 11:33 am
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I don't have a one track

I don't have a one track mind. Obviously you do. I said earlier that anyone that kills their child deserves the death penalty or a 6X6 cell for the rest of their life. I said that applies no matter the color. I am not blinded by racial soildarity like you are. Where did the hell part come from? You are not reasoning you are ranting like a idiot. Make a valid argument or go take your meds.

laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 11:34 am
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Christian134 I felt for the

Christian134 I felt for the children but they are gone now and in a better place. IN THE LOVING ARMS OF MY FATHER GOD. The mother is still here and going through hell on earth. Like I told you before all you should be concerned about is being thankful to the Lord that it didn't happen to you. I see you have a one track mind too that really doesn't seem to be wrapped to tight either...

Jillian
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Jillian 01/08/09 - 11:35 am
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Once again it is proven how

Once again it is proven how little value we give to the lives of children in this county. Those innocent kids were murdered in cold blood and an adult who did it will not be punished in this system we have operating under the guise of justice.

But there is a greater judge and the blood of those innocent children will cry out against her in the final judgment.

I only wish we had a Judge now that valued human life.

laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 11:39 am
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We are talking about Mental

We are talking about Mental Illness which you don't have a clue either GnipGnop. You are always telling someone to take their meds. WHICH KIND ARE YOU ON. Sure you ain't putting a little crack in your coffee every morning cause you sound like a wise crack.. Like James Brown said..TRY ME

laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 11:41 am
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Jillian, You don't have a

Jillian, You don't have a clue either. Don't waste your time here baby

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 11:42 am
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"My wife is a mental health

"My wife is a mental health professional, turned Special Education teacher. We used to have this type of discussion all the time about one of her patients." ----- I hope not because that violates patient confidentiality. There's a reason medical records aren't made public; and there's a reason health professionals don't talk about patient's diagnosis and treatment, and more than privacy.

christian134
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christian134 01/08/09 - 11:46 am
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Too bad you are not of the

Too bad you are not of the mind to protect the babies as much as you are to pin a badge of honor on yourself for the "poor misunderstood mama"...Hold on and I will see if I have it in me to give you one...Nope all out at the moment...This one track mind set of mine includes all babies, born as well as unborn, laprince...I will leave the coddling of these people to persons such as yourself and will even offer a prayer that not a single child you have, will have or have grandchildren, will ever suffer the way those babies suffered...They may be gone but they will not be forgotten at least not as long as others out there will fight to keep people like that woman from ever walking free again during her natural life...She can be free in her spirit and soul which is where we all have a chance of being released from our sins but we should be made to face our responsibilities for our wrongs...

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 11:46 am
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"laprince you go sit and hold

"laprince you go sit and hold her hand because this one person will not..." ----- And you call yourself a Christian??? What bible do you read, let alone what verses do you cherry pick??? If you can't even care, let alone TRY to understand your fellow man, religion won't save your soul alone. It's your deeds that will follow you to heaven/hell, too.

GnipGnop1
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GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 11:46 am
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Actually that's the first

Actually that's the first time I have said that. Are the voices in your head telling you I said it more than once? I don't do drugs. I have been with the same company for 20 years and submit to random drug tests. Never failed one and never had to worry about failing one. Keep on posting though. Your posts show all the readers what you are and what you stand for. I don't have to point it out to them it's as plain as the color of your skin.

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 11:49 am
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"Too bad you are not of the

"Too bad you are not of the mind to protect the babies" ----- Yet you're willing throw adult life away like trash. That's schizophrenic! Life is a life, regardless if it's a 8lb or a 180lb package. Same goes if they're ill or healthy. God created all, good and bad, and that means it's our DUTY to care for ALL life.

christian134
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christian134 01/08/09 - 11:52 am
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SandyK2005 go and sit with

SandyK2005 go and sit with her...I have prayed for that women and given her over to the Lord...That is all I can do for her which is more than enough as God is more than capable of driving the demons from her...But I also believe that she should be held accountable for her actions while still on earth and that means jailed for the rest of her natural life...Those babies are gone yes but they are not forgotten...There pain and horror should never be minimized by such as yourselves who seek to place yourselves above the needs of the innocent...Tell it shout it to someone who is listening for as I said earlier it is not I...

christian134
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christian134 01/08/09 - 11:53 am
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So you would throw the life

So you would throw the life of an innocent away first Sandy?

christian134
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christian134 01/08/09 - 11:54 am
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Furthermore if she is jailed

Furthermore if she is jailed for life she is still living so where exactly are you seemingly confused?

laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 11:55 am
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Too much mental and

Too much mental and misunderstading people here. Can't waste anymore of my time talking to christian134 and SandyK. He that is without sin...cast the first stone. It was very wrong for the mother to kill her kids but she had a mental breakdown. Anyone in their right mind can clearly see that. You two want to kill the woman for being insane. Like I said before I hope and pray nothing like this will happen to you two puffed up PEACOCKS. SANDY WHAT BIBLE DO YOU READ. Christian justice was served and you don't like it. too bad. Don't pray for me because I don't think you really know how too.

truthisouttherestill
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truthisouttherestill 01/08/09 - 12:01 pm
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i can't believe the poster

i can't believe the poster who said 'she did the kids a favor by killing them'........that is a sick individual who needs to be locked up right beside the mother........doing them a favor would have been to call social services when her [filtered word] poor family refused to help..........putting them into care would have been better than killing them in such a horrific manner.........and for gsnot.......i already mentioned several of the white women such as yates and smith so get off that band wagon

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 12:07 pm
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"But I also believe that she

"But I also believe that she should be held accountable for her actions while still on earth and that means jailed for the rest of her natural life..." ----- Do this experiment. Turn your TV on to as loud as it will go. Keep it on 24/7/356. That's the life of a schizophrenic. Those voices aren't a little devil on the shoulder telling them..."Hey do this", it's a voices that SCREAMS for attention and won't stop. Medication just calms them, but that noise is always there. It is so controlling, that some even go into catatonic states (literal stone statues). It's one of the cruelest conditions known, as there is no peace, as you can't run from yourself. She's already in a prison.

christian134
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christian134 01/08/09 - 12:08 pm
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Sorry you are confused

Sorry you are confused laprince ... Door is opened so come back anytime...Maybe I will listen but I seriously doubt it...Babies always have and will always come first...No death penalty as that is not what I believe but incarceration for life...Besides God has use for people in all places...Who are you to say where that person is supposed to be or where they are not? I have made mistakes in my life. Everyone of them have led me down a path that was not intended by myself...But I have grown along the way, met people I would never have met and then again I was given a choice to either continue on a path of destruction or change my direction...Either way it was my choice and my responsibility to bear...But I digress...This woman did what she did...Pray for her but hold her responsible for her actions...She is alive the children are dead...They are dead...

christian134
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christian134 01/08/09 - 12:11 pm
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I can feel sorrow Sandy but I

I can feel sorrow Sandy but I feel more sorrow for the children..

GnipGnop1
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GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 12:13 pm
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So Sandy you feel like she

So Sandy you feel like she should ever get the chance to walk the streets again? To have children again? Are you willing to let her babysit your children when she's released? SHe killed 2 innocent babies. I don't care what her diagnosis is. She should never be able to walk free again. Nobody can insure she wouldn't do this again. A lot of schizophrenics, when released, stop taking their medications. Are you willing to bet childrens lives on that? I'm not.

concercitizen
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concercitizen 01/08/09 - 12:16 pm
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Ms. Hawes stabbed her

Ms. Hawes stabbed her daughter 11 times and from what I can gather she must have stabbed her son at least six times. Is it any wonder her attorny wanted a bench trial. Mentally ill or not, I can not see a jury having much sympathy for her.
These were small children. Her actions are nothing short of barbaric.
Okay ahe is now committed to a mental institution. Is there any one that thinks this woman will ever be deemed normal and able to resume a normal life. What if she is released from this mental facility? What if she has more children? Would she look at her new babies and vow not to kill theM?

ITDoc
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ITDoc 01/08/09 - 12:24 pm
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SandyK: I have tinnitus, a

SandyK: I have tinnitus, a level 9 ringing in my right ear. It will NEVER stop. Does this mean I can kill my kids from the insanity I reach? How about if this life support system for a vagina actually gets out and kills again? I still like her sentence as it is, for she will get much harsher treatment from the inmates in a mental ward than she would get in protective custody in some prison. She will get shanked, those women hate baby killers.

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 12:31 pm
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"So Sandy you feel like she

"So Sandy you feel like she should ever get the chance to walk the streets again? To have children again? Are you willing to let her babysit your children when she's released? SHe killed 2 innocent babies." ---- Our government has killed millions. Do you feel safe with your government? Or continue to excuse their actions? The problem is too many of you don't understand mental illness. You see whatever on TV, or some kooky lawyer trying to get someone everyone knows IS sane off by an insanity plea, and conclude that's MI. It isn't. Psychosis isn't sociopathy (e.g., or the old term that most folks know, psychopathy). Sociopaths goto prison; those who are psychotic goto mental hospitals. Why? Prison is designed to punish folks via confinement. That's not the environment for someone who's MI, as they need medical attention (just like someone with diabetes or heart disease), as it's a biochemical MEDICAL condition. People don't think themselves into schizophrenia, it's a biochemical misfiring (much like seizures). It's treated like any medical condition, with medication.

griesella
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griesella 01/08/09 - 12:35 pm
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The moral of this story is

The moral of this story is that if you want to commit murder, ask for Overstreet to handle your case...

laprince
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laprince 01/08/09 - 12:35 pm
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She is responsible so are the

She is responsible so are the demons on the inside of her screaming. I think she should stay in the Mental Institution because she has a long road for any recovery but there is nothing impossible with God. I rather he deal with her than some of you all.

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