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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KSL
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KSL 01/08/09 - 02:33 pm
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Actually Sandy, I had twin

Actually Sandy, I had twin first cousins who suffered from schizophrenia. Their father, my uncle by marriage, knowing that it can be inherited, required that they never have children as a condition of inheriting his extensive estate. By the way, he was a heart surgeon in the 60's, studied under the pioneers.

whataboutthekids
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whataboutthekids 01/08/09 - 02:39 pm
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I'm reading all this B.S. on

I'm reading all this B.S. on these comments.I know mental illness exist!!!!!!!!!!!!

HYPOCRITES 08
7
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/08/09 - 02:39 pm
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christian, it is a good thing

christian, it is a good thing that these decisions are not left up to people like you. Thing about it is that nothing you nor I say really matter. She will have to deal with GOD on her judgement day and I have faith that he will be more merciful than you or anyone else on this earth. In the end that is all that really matter. Please do not get it twisted. I doubt that you love children any more than the rest of us, it is just that I know that there are people who are mentally ill and that Jeanette just happens to be one of them. It is my hope that she will one day be able to function in society.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/08/09 - 02:42 pm
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Good thing MS ALEXIS that the

Good thing MS ALEXIS that the decision was not up to you. Someone may just think that you are a danger to society. Simple battery may one day lead to murder. Right?

lovelylululady
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lovelylululady 01/08/09 - 02:43 pm
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Oh my gosh. Now people can

Oh my gosh. Now people can just kill their own precious children and claim they are "crazy". Great example, Judge.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/08/09 - 02:46 pm
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Yeah, the law was passed just

Yeah, the law was passed just so that she could get away with it. GEEZ!

MS_ALEXIS
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MS_ALEXIS 01/08/09 - 02:47 pm
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hypocrites in my situation it

hypocrites in my situation it was self defense out of a abusive relationship. i had gotten fed up and since his dad is a cop the other officer decided that the state of georgia was going to charge me with simple battery. funny thing is i didn't even know they charged me. but its not about me it's about michelle. she does not need to be released into society, shes a danger to herself and who's to say she won't start feeling guilty and stop taking her meds, she might run up on the right person and they let loose on her. its alot of people in augusta who are angry with her for what she did. i think its best she stay locked up

sanders23
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sanders23 01/08/09 - 02:48 pm
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dang..chr134..they got you

dang..chr134..they got you going today girl.

SandyK2005
1
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 02:50 pm
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"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?" --- Proper posting etiquette is to quote a snippet of who you're replying, too. So not only the person you're answering knows it's them they're referring too, but other readers know who you're addressing (and over what). Standard on forums; blogs; and even the usernet (where it's really frowned upon if you don't).

sanders23
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sanders23 01/08/09 - 02:54 pm
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"turn the other cheek"

"turn the other cheek"

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 02:57 pm
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"By the way, he was a heart

"By the way, he was a heart surgeon in the 60's, studied under the pioneers." ---- You need to read up on modern medicine, as A-L-O-T has changed in 40 years. 40 years ago they were using insulin and primitive electroshock treatments for schizophrenia. And only 10 years earlier lobotomies (which was the dark age for psychiatry). Today they know it's a biochemical disorder, and is treated like any other medical condition.

creolechick
72
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creolechick 01/08/09 - 03:00 pm
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I believe in mental illness.

I believe in mental illness. Anyone who murders anyone is at least temporarily insane. In my opinion there is no worse crime than killing your own children. Mentally ill or not, she is still a murderer and doesn't deserve to live in society - Ever! If you will kill your own children you are capable of killing anyone. I wouldn't ever want her to live on my block around my children, would any of you?

creolechick
72
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creolechick 01/08/09 - 03:02 pm
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Oh, I've got an idea. IF and

Oh, I've got an idea. IF and when she gets "healed" she can live next door to someone in Judge Overstreet's family.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/08/09 - 03:07 pm
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Sure there are a lot of

Sure there are a lot of people angry at her. Hell at one time I was one of them. However you cannot justify taking the law into one's own hand. Remember Cherry Tree?

christian134
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christian134 01/08/09 - 03:09 pm
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Hypo it is a good thing is it

Hypo it is a good thing is it not? I agree with you one hundred and maybe more percentage that it is not left up to me...Who knew we agree...

pumpkinpie
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pumpkinpie 01/08/09 - 03:10 pm
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who killed the dog?

who killed the dog?

MS_ALEXIS
0
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MS_ALEXIS 01/08/09 - 03:11 pm
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your right its not up to us

your right its not up to us its up to god but yet in still everybody who is free right now does not think the same therefore she will be in more danger if she is released with meds to live her life

convertedsoutherner
2
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convertedsoutherner 01/08/09 - 03:14 pm
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"she (the murderer is a

"she (the murderer is a basket case now)". Well her children are dead. She can 'all of a sudden' become well, be put on medication, be released, have more children - and her 2 children are still dead.

CarlA
114
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CarlA 01/08/09 - 03:23 pm
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When it comes time to meet

When it comes time to meet her maker, she will rot in H***!

rdbike
47
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rdbike 01/08/09 - 03:23 pm
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Help???? She should face the

Help???? She should face the same treatment her kids got. She's may be confined, but she is still walking, talking and breathing. Same can't be said for her children. The only treament she deserves is a lethal cocktail administered through a needle in her arm. Doesn't matter how she grew up or her living conditions. She killed her children and all she got was a mental hospital with clean sheets, meals, climate controlled housing and counseling. Her children will never laugh, play or go to school because of her. Doesn't seem right to me.

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 03:30 pm
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"Anyone who murders anyone is

"Anyone who murders anyone is at least temporarily insane." ---- Nope. Most are quite coherent and know right from wrong. The MI are an exception, as it's a long-term in ability to know right from wrong (let alone appreciate what they did), not a temp situation. Remember a case years ago with a dude who attempted to robbed a bank. His method of robbery was a finger in the pocket. Reason? He wanted money for cigarettes (majority of schizophrenics smoke, as it's related to the condition). He was a schizophrenic, and to the point he didn't even know he had his own money to buy them. He was judged insane and was sent to Central State. Schizophrenics truly don't know right from wrong as they don't even live in reality.

creolechick
72
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creolechick 01/08/09 - 03:39 pm
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SandyK - If a schizophrenic

SandyK - If a schizophrenic kills your children, something tells me you wouldn't be as compassionate to their illness. If you kill you should be killed or go to prison for life. No other options. Insane or not.

christian134
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christian134 01/08/09 - 03:53 pm
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laprince And like you don't

laprince And like you don't have a one track mind...Please...Plus one other point...Explain now why should I log off...Really now...:-)Like that really does not make sense...I would have to really care what you think of myself to do that and I don't...

christian134
1
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christian134 01/08/09 - 04:00 pm
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If these people who have the

If these people who have the same problem with staying on the meds, have voices for life with nothing that can be done to relieve them why are you so floored with the act of sterilizing them Sandy? If I were found to be a carrier of a fatal disease that could be passed on to my children I would most certainly want something a little more permanent than birth control device...That is the only logical solution to the whole problem...Now what is more Christian and caring letting someone who has a diseased incurable mind bear children only to possibly go off the wall and kill them...Then in a moment of lucidity have to deal with what they have done...Or would you rather they just seek help in the beginning and make sure they do not have children at all...Which is it?

me too
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me too 01/08/09 - 04:11 pm
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Mental illness is never a

Mental illness is never a funny matter. And for everyone who thinks it can't happen to them, don't be so certain. I really hope this woman gets the help she desperately needs. If I remember correctly, family members had concerns about her mental health prior to the childrens deaths - too bad no one could get her to accept help then, otherwise those babies might still be alive. This woman has done enough damage to herself, we don't need to add to it. She has been, and must continue to live with the knowledge that she killed her own children. Whether she has a memory of that event or not, she knows she did it. I just hope that she'll get real help.

DMac_357
1
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DMac_357 01/08/09 - 04:19 pm
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HOWDIE - Sadly you don't

HOWDIE - Sadly you don't remember the facts too well. The incident you saw of her on TV talking about the dog was an incident that had happened probably a year before. It was only brought out and replayed because of her killing her kids. I'm glad that none of the people commenting negatively on this story have any type of say whether Hawes gets released or not. This is up to the doctors and the courts, not those of us who have no training in this area.

GSneed
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GSneed 01/08/09 - 04:25 pm
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YAWNNN...."A judge declared a

YAWNNN...."A judge declared a mistrial Saturday in the murder trial of a woman accused of fatally cutting the arms off her 10-month-old daughter. Jurors deadlocked during the fourth day of deliberations in the case of Dena Schlosser, 37, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity." Also, please research Gilberta Estrada and Andrea Yates, then get back with me to share your opinions.

mommie2
2
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mommie2 01/08/09 - 04:35 pm
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Hang on. She was listening

Hang on. She was listening to an mp3 player and dancing around? That makes me kinda sick.

dont live there anymore
2
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dont live there anymore 01/08/09 - 04:50 pm
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I had to quit reading these

I had to quit reading these posts. I have never read such hateful comments. Of course, killing babies is awful, but lay off the young woman. She will probably always be schizophrenic so don't try to anticipate the outcome. Judge Carlisle has done what I consider to be right. Give the case a break!

GnipGnop1
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GnipGnop1 01/08/09 - 04:51 pm
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Gsneed your making a racial

Gsneed your making a racial issue out of one that doesn't exist. Posters have been saying all day long that ALL of the parents that killed their children should be punished. GO race bait somewhere else. Sandy you never answer any questions. I know what mental illness is and quoting that fact doesn't answer any questions that have been posed to you. That's your thing everyday copy and paste, throw in your own opinion and never debate the issues or answer questions. laprince I won't even begin with you...the more you post the more your true personality shows. At least Hypocrite will back up his arguments and engage in debate.

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