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.

Comments (307) Add comment
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jajo1012
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jajo1012 01/08/09 - 11:04 pm
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Seriously, I don't even know

Seriously, I don't even know why Augusta Chronicle allows you people to argue on and on like self-righteous idiots. Spare us all and be quiet! I am almost positive none of you are professionally trained to psychologically evaluate this poor woman and her mistakes, so keep your hurtful and insane judgements to yourself. How about some productive commenting? And shame on you and the Augusta Chronicle for allowing all of this useless banter. GET A LIFE!!!

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 11:16 pm
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Most are just plain ignorant.

Most are just plain ignorant. These are the types just 30 years ago who would've shunned someone with cancer, because they heard from so-and-so that it was contagious. Who'd feed their diabetic kids candy and Coke (as we all know kids need treats, right?). Who'd ride and judge their aunt who cries and sleeps all day as being "lazy" and "crying for attention", when she really is in depression. All they know is what folks tell them, and is accepted as popular belief. Your typical lemming, who spent hours a day screaming about wearing a helmet on a motorcycle, or a seat belt. That is until they "got religion" when someone they know is a human vegetable because they didn't. Too many "holy rollers" and too few with common sense (let alone an educated one).

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 11:25 pm
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"marian, we have every right

"marian, we have every right to judge. God may have the final judgment, but law and order must be kept." ----- This is the law also: Ignorance of the law isn't an excuse. If you don't know about mental illness, let alone schizophrenia and making ignorant statements, you are just as guilty of breaking the law by preaching harmful statements. There's enough stigma with mental illness, don't promote more with your ignorance.

HoltElizabeth
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HoltElizabeth 01/08/09 - 11:28 pm
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If this was me or someone

If this was me or someone else we would be in prison. I have watched and read everything about this and I don't feel sorry for her at all. Them children did not have to go through that pain. She should of gave them children to someone else to take care of them. As far as I care she can go to H***. She is a unfit mother and I hope a judge demands she gets fixed. She don't need to have no contact with no children at all. I rode by that gas station where she KILLED HER CHILDREN. I will never forget the tears that came into my eyes when I put flowers and a teddy bear on the side of the road. I will never go to that store.

jajo1012
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jajo1012 01/08/09 - 11:29 pm
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right on, SandyK2005. most of

right on, SandyK2005. most of these people do sound like IGNORANT HOLY ROLLERS.

jajo1012
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jajo1012 01/08/09 - 11:31 pm
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HoltElizabeth, maybe you can

HoltElizabeth, maybe you can make a more educated (and grammatically correct) judgement next time you post a comment? And how TACTFUL of you to refer to a human as needing to be "FIXED".

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 11:36 pm
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"If this was me or someone

"If this was me or someone else we would be in prison." ---- Because you can APPRECIATE THE CRIME, and understand that IT IS A CRIME. A schizophrenic barely even knows they're ALIVE, let alone the finer things like right and wrong. Get it through those thick skulls: a schizophrenic isn't even in our reality. They can't appreciate even this world. The tree, the sun, the grass it's all inmaterial. It's because the brain has biochemically changed. If you took a PET scan or a MRI of a schizophrenic's brain, you will see it's damaged. This is called a mental illness because it was long thought to be one (and because of their public "face"), but in truth, it's a medical condition no different than diabetes. Do you consider someone with Alzheimer's mentally ill? No, as you know it's a brain wasting disease. The same is true with schizophrenia. It truly needs to be reclassed, as today we know better.

HoltElizabeth
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HoltElizabeth 01/08/09 - 11:40 pm
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Well she killed two children

Well she killed two children so I will say it this way the judge needs to make a ruling that she has to have her tubes cut, burned,tied.

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/08/09 - 11:50 pm
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"Well she killed two children

"Well she killed two children so I will say it this way the judge needs to make a ruling that she has to have her tubes cut, burned,tied." ----- There's plenty of folks on this board that needs more than their tubes tied (both women and men), as society doesn't need to breed more ignorance. SHE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT WAS COMING. No one goes to the doc and says, "Please give me a PET scan and a MRI from 15 to 25 years-old, every year" to find out. Like a heart attack, it just happens out of the blue. Yes, in hindsight there were signs, but only in hindsight. By the time of the first "break", the damage has already been done, and over time, just like Alzheimers, the condition damages the brain more. Like with arthritis, you give them medication to control the inflammation and to help control joint damage, but it gets progressively worse. They need MEDICAL care, not insults, not "I know right and wrong, so she must know it too" crap. It's a bona fide MEDICAL condition.

karmakills123
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karmakills123 01/08/09 - 11:50 pm
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again and for the last

again and for the last time...those babies are in a better place...the life that their mother exposed them to was wrong....they are better off now....sleep well mamma and pappa and auntie and all others involved.....................

SargentMidTown
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SargentMidTown 01/08/09 - 11:56 pm
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Many homeless people have

Many homeless people have schizophrenia. I believe that now that the people surrounding Mercy Ministries have petitioned Richmond County for them to move Mercy Ministries..If one of the Mercy Miniseries commits a heinous crime the City of Augusta and Richmond County Commissioners individually should be liable.

HoltElizabeth
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HoltElizabeth 01/09/09 - 12:02 am
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Yes I agree with you that

Yes I agree with you that they are in a better place up there with god and his angels. But what i was trying to say is it was wrong for what she did to those children.

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/09/09 - 12:06 am
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"Many homeless people have

"Many homeless people have schizophrenia." ---- Because they have nowhere to go. Not enough housing, and they can't remain in the hospital. When deinstitutionalization occurred, with the help of medicines to help treat these disease, there were promises of housing, work, and other after care services. They never materialized. They fell through "the cracks". It's a society problem, and one that has blame to go all around.

karmakills123
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karmakills123 01/09/09 - 12:10 am
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of course they are in a

of course they are in a better place....just ask overstreet......if you have children and you can't handle them...kill them...it's the Augusta way !!!!

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/09/09 - 12:13 am
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I wish there was a better

I wish there was a better place to put trolls....Somewhere more permanent than under a bridge.

karmakills123
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karmakills123 01/09/09 - 12:19 am
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sandy check out the

sandy check out the explanation of satire......thats all that is left.................. sad but true...................

Rose
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Rose 01/09/09 - 12:42 am
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Sounds like Sandy is the one

Sounds like Sandy is the one with mental problems.

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/09/09 - 12:48 am
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Rosey, don't you have some

Rosey, don't you have some paper towels to use? Some "quicker picker upper" on yourself? Get an education, you know "soak it up"??????

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 01/09/09 - 12:57 am
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"I wish there was a better

"I wish there was a better place to put trolls....Somewhere more permanent than under a bridge.
Posted by SandyK2005 on Thu Jan 8, 2009 11:13 PM"
That sound like a threat. Maybe you should clarify, if it's not. If it is, it shouldn't be on here.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 01/09/09 - 01:00 am
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regi.. is calling some

regi.. is calling some commentors' comments insane and calling them ignorant Holy Rollers and self-righteous idiots. Sandy is saying some commentors are ignorant and have thick skulls. Good going. You'll really win over readers that way. It seems to me you're feeling a bit judgmental and/or superior. Delusions of grandeur, perhaps?

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/09/09 - 01:09 am
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"That sound like a threat.

"That sound like a threat. Maybe you should clarify, if it's not. If it is, it shouldn't be on here." --- What is your solution? Give them longer spikey hair, and tubbier to hold and kiss? Karma's already working on his doo!! lol

SargentMidTown
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SargentMidTown 01/09/09 - 01:12 am
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We need to house all of the

We need to house all of the homeless in the old Regency Mall.

SargentMidTown
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SargentMidTown 01/09/09 - 01:14 am
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Institutionalization would

Institutionalization would make life better and healther for the homeless and more pleasant for everyone else.

SargentMidTown
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SargentMidTown 01/09/09 - 01:21 am
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Please don't forget to

Please don't forget to promote family planning, birth control and sterilization...these are the fundamentals that will circumvent suffering and make our society better. Good night all. Pleasant dreams.

karmakills123
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karmakills123 01/09/09 - 01:22 am
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sandy..kick back and watch

sandy..kick back and watch the original "Out of Towners" a classic !!! A great way to end the eve...24...14....oh yeah !!!

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/09/09 - 01:45 am
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"Institutionalization would

"Institutionalization would make life better and healther for the homeless and more pleasant for everyone else." ---- Can't even fund the acute treatment centers as it is, as no one will fund it. The situation is what it is, as there's no money. And no, institutionalization isn't the solution, it's a waste of money and time. The MI can work, and do other things everyone else can. The goal in society is to make everyone as productive as possible, not a drain on society itself.

Drama Mamma
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Drama Mamma 01/09/09 - 10:12 am
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Wow!! never thought I would

Wow!! never thought I would see the day a Mother hurting there own precious child. So Sad, a child is such a gift from god to have.
I am very puzzled why she did not get jail time are the death penalty.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/09/09 - 10:34 am
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River-rat you are an idiot.

River-rat you are an idiot. What in the hell does this have to do with the " Black Community"?

whatsupwiththat
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whatsupwiththat 01/09/09 - 10:56 am
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She should be worm food.

She should be worm food.

laprince
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laprince 01/09/09 - 11:05 am
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DrammaMamma you will stay

DrammaMamma you will stay puzzled as long you have no clue to what mental illness and demons can cause.

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