Woman who killed 2 children in 2007 will be committed

  • Follow Metro

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.

Comments (307) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
devilishlymad67
0
Points
devilishlymad67 01/08/09 - 01:36 pm
0
0
insanity pleas are to get out

insanity pleas are to get out of justified punishment. The legal system works that way. The death chamber would have been to good for this baby killer. That goes for the Yates woman in Texas, the Smith woman in Carolina and anyother "woman" who plots and plans and then MURDERS the children that she carried beneath her heart.

griesella
0
Points
griesella 01/08/09 - 01:39 pm
0
0
la..Be not afraid. God WILL

la..Be not afraid. God WILL judge her.

ripjones
2
Points
ripjones 01/08/09 - 01:40 pm
0
0
SandyK2005 - Do you think,

SandyK2005 - Do you think, maybe not, for one minute that my wife would've provided any identifying information to me? I personally live with HIPAA each and every day. Give me a break. I am very well aware of the law.

GnipGnop1
2
Points
GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 01:40 pm
0
0
Sandy you still didn't answer

Sandy you still didn't answer the question...all you do is copy and paste someone elses posts but avoid answering any questions posed to you. I know all about mental illness. My mother worked in a mental hospital for 30 years. We ate lunch at the hospital and had interactions with mentally ill people several times a week. I ask again. Do you think she should be able to walk the streets? Have children? If a mental health doctor told you she was cured would you let her babysit your children? Quit avoiding the questions and answer please.

laprince
0
Points
laprince 01/08/09 - 01:42 pm
0
0
To all Augusta residents we

To all Augusta residents we have newly appointed Judges in the CSRA, whith all the right anwsers. the Canidates are Christian134, GnipGnop, Concercitizen and last but not least S eagle..

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 01:42 pm
0
0
"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?" ---- Now try that in both ears and at level 10 loudness (so loud to drown anything else out). If you're not insane yet, you will be, as those voices are hell screaming. If you kill your kids under those conditions, you know darn right you won't be crying to throw yourself in prison and throw away the key -- you want those voices to end (that's if those voices don't yell at you to kill YOURSELF first). Try to understand, not make more excuses. Like in law, ignorance isn't an excuse.

GnipGnop1
2
Points
GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 01:43 pm
0
0
I am not running for

I am not running for judgeship. Funny though how you keep judging certain people. Pot calling the kettle black?

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 01/08/09 - 01:46 pm
0
0
First of all I believe Jordan

First of all I believe Jordan was stabbed twice. That is not the point. She was reaching out for help and all the signs were there. christian I have held her hands and will do so again. I understand what she was going through and have on numerous occasions faulted myself for not seeing this coming. Unfortunately I got caught up in a busy work and life schedule and lost contact for a period of time. No one who knew Shakayla and Jordan would have hesitated to step in if they had realized the severity of her problem. Some of you did not have to look at the two of them in their casket, I did. So its not about making excuses for her. She is in her own living hell right now. Nothing you nor I can do about it.

laprince
0
Points
laprince 01/08/09 - 01:46 pm
0
0
GnipGnop why do you keep

GnipGnop why do you keep talking about her getting out watching somebody's kids and all that garbage. You have to have refrences to babysit kids. Her past will follow her the rest of her life. and I'm sure bearing kids is not on her mind. Can't you locate her mind in insanity.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 01/08/09 - 01:47 pm
0
0
God will deal with her

God will deal with her laprince and I pray He is merciful...But she needs to be incarcerated for life...Many people have demons laprince but that is not an excuse for killing innocents...Just like the women that killed all their children before her...They were troubled, no doubt really troubled, but they had no right to harm the children...None...I guess the men who can't get along in this life and blow their families away need to be in mental institutions. Or people like Manson, Dahmer or the other mass murderers, they seem to be insane also, maybe they should not have been in jail but in mental institutions...This woman murdered her babies by stabbing them over and over again...She needs to be held accountable...Treat her but incarcerate her for life...

confused2
0
Points
confused2 01/08/09 - 01:49 pm
0
0
I understand that she is very

I understand that she is very sick and does need help but if I remember this story right didnt she try and get someone to take her kids from her before she did this? I may be mistaken. I dont think it really matters "what part of town" she is from or what color her skin happens to be Several years ago a white woman strapped her kids in a car and pushed them into a lake to drown. She was insane too. I do feel sorry for the kids they didnt aks for this and I feel sorry for her family having to live with the idea that someone in their family was capable of doing something so drastic. I just hope she gets some medication and help because once she "stops hearing the voices" she is going to have to deal with the fact that she killed her kids.

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 01:49 pm
0
0
"SandyK2005 - Do you think,

"SandyK2005 - Do you think, maybe not, for one minute that my wife would've provided any identifying information to me?" ---- I don't know, but I did read that you said she talked about a patient to you. That's a no-no. Patients won't be patients if they know their therapist/social worker/MHT is talking about them outside the treatment setting. That's confidential for a reason (to work on private issues), much like a confession to a priest. Therapists and priests keep such things to themselves (except if it's a danger to others).

laprince
0
Points
laprince 01/08/09 - 01:51 pm
0
0
GnipGnop you are excused we

GnipGnop you are excused we all understand. The yellow short bus has just arrived outside your house to pick you up. Today your field trip will be to the insane asslyum so you can get a glimpse of what really going on there. Don't say nothing while you're there. Be quiet because they might keep you.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 01/08/09 - 01:52 pm
0
0
I can answer only for myself.

I can answer only for myself. Yes, she should be allowed back into society, once the mental health profession deemed it is safe to do so. Are there any guarantees? No, but when are there ever any?

laprince
0
Points
laprince 01/08/09 - 01:54 pm
0
0
Confused you should change

Confused you should change your name. I AGREE with you 100%

laprince
0
Points
laprince 01/08/09 - 01:58 pm
0
0
christian134, one track mind.

christian134, one track mind. You have no clue about what demon possesion is and what demons can make you do. Please read the bible and do research on demons. What kind of Christian are you. You sound like you are living in a fairy tale.

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 02:07 pm
0
0
"My mother worked in a mental

"My mother worked in a mental hospital for 30 years. We ate lunch at the hospital and had interactions with mentally ill people several times a week. I ask again. Do you think she should be able to walk the streets? Have children? If a mental health doctor told you she was cured would you let her babysit your children? Quit avoiding the questions and answer please." ------ In all that 30 years your mom didn't teach you anything about the MI? That they're just like anyone else with a medical condition? That like any medical condition they need help, not more blame? Not even 30 years ago doctors were blaming parents for bad child rearing for the cause of schizophrenia. We know now it's a biochemical disorder that also changes the physical structure of the brain (some areas atrophies...i.e., shrinks), and some lobes are overstimulated (which means their thought processes have been rewired/distorted). All physical, not mental. For reasons unknown during puberty it emerges (a lot learn only in college). Folks don't see it until it's full blown.

GnipGnop1
2
Points
GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 02:10 pm
0
0
laprince you are a idiot.

laprince you are a idiot. MAybe you are the one that needs a short bus. Do you even read what you post? Or anyone elses posts for that matter. Hypo would you let her babysit your grandchildren? I am outta here I have things to do. To those that debated in good taste I enjoyed it. To the race baiters and morons have a great day in your own little world.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 01/08/09 - 02:11 pm
0
0
You have no idea what I have

You have no idea what I have experienced or where I have been laprince...Do not assume something you have not one ounce of knowledge...Now I will reiterate for your benefit... The babies suffering will remain uppermost in my wanting this women never to be released back into society...

GnipGnop1
2
Points
GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 02:11 pm
0
0
I see you copied and pasted

I see you copied and pasted and never answered the questions.....again...same thing all over again.

laprince
0
Points
laprince 01/08/09 - 02:15 pm
0
0
your opinion G..Goodbye. I

your opinion G..Goodbye. I type and read what I post, do you. You are the one with the problem. Check yourself before you wreck yourself you immature child calling people out of their names. Go on to your anger class.

mommie2
2
Points
mommie2 01/08/09 - 02:16 pm
0
0
I'm sorry. violent criminals

I'm sorry. violent criminals should not be set loose back on an unsuspecting public. Insane or not.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 01/08/09 - 02:16 pm
0
0
All the meds in the free

All the meds in the free world and not so free world will convince me that this woman or anyone like her should be allowed to walk free Sandy...If this is found or even thought to be a problem then the teen or young adult needs to be sterilized...Babies need to be protected in the womb as well as when they are born into this world...They don't have all your insight and knowledge Sandy...All they know is that the person is with them 24/7 will make sure they are warm, clean, feed and loved...

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 02:16 pm
0
0
"I see you copied and pasted

"I see you copied and pasted and never answered the questions.....again...same thing all over again." ---- you see nothing GG, because it's a mental condition called denial. It's a primitive survival defense, too. What are you REALLY scared of?

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 02:19 pm
0
0
"If this is found or even

"If this is found or even thought to be a problem then the teen or young adult needs to be sterilized..." ---- And you call yourself a Christian? What next eugenics????

laprince
0
Points
laprince 01/08/09 - 02:22 pm
0
0
Christian134, you are

Christian134, you are unreasonable and need to log off. No one is listening to you anymore. Like I said before, YOU HAVE A ONE TRACK MIND..

mommie2
2
Points
mommie2 01/08/09 - 02:22 pm
0
0
Some people just shouldn't be

Some people just shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.

KSL
121289
Points
KSL 01/08/09 - 02:26 pm
0
0
Sandy, it's really tiresome

Sandy, it's really tiresome reading posts twice. Can't you just refer to the time of the post or the time and name?

MS_ALEXIS
0
Points
MS_ALEXIS 01/08/09 - 02:30 pm
0
0
I am not a criminal I went to

I am not a criminal I went to jail for Simple Battery and while in there i had the opportunity to talk to michelle. Most of the day she would stay in her cell and listen and dance to her mp3 player. When she did come out to eat she was happy and talking to everybody. She is alot heavier than that photo and when I last saw her she was talking and making a "store run"( going to the snack machine) for all the ladies who had money in the women section. I personally don't think anything is wrong with her, even though she was taking one pill a day, but even so. There is nothing wrong with her. This is her way out.

creolechick
72
Points
creolechick 01/08/09 - 02:32 pm
0
0
To mimsy and SCGAL53. I

To mimsy and SCGAL53. I haven't walked in this woman's shoes but I don't need to. I have walked in my own shoes in which I lost my child after a long battle with childhood cancer. I would have given my life for hers if I could have. I would have done anything to save her. You have NO idea how infuriated I am that this woman will not get the proper justice which in my opinion would be the death penalty. Anyone who agrees with the sentence this woman got including the judge and doctors should have their own mental health evaluated!!!

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs