Only on 12: News 12 interviews mother days before brutal crime

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

News 12 at 11, November 29, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.-- The same young mother in a Richmond County jail cell, charged with brutally stabbing her two children to death Thursday was interviewed by News 12 on Monday, (November 26).

Jeanette Michelle Hawes talked with News 12 about her brother, Elijah Hawes' pitbull being stabbed to death on Saturday.

Jeanette, while holding who her family confirms is one year old Jordan Hawes, now dead, told News 12 " I just think, you know, it was wrong for her to actually do that because she could've went and got help or whatever, and you know, an animal is like a human being. That is like killing someone else so I just think it's not right, she didn't have to go that far."

But three days after our interview with her, investigators say Jeanette Michelle Hawes took it a step further, stabbing her own two young children mulitple times in the chest, while locked inside an Augusta convienence store bathroom.

Deputies on the scene say one year old Jordan Hawes died at the scene. His three year old sister Shakayla Hawes was dead before she reached MCG.

"I just don't know why she did it." says Amanda Thomas who was working inside the convenience store when Jeanette, who she knew as Michelle, came in around 2:30 in the afternoon. "After Michelle got the two stamps, the little girl wanted the popcorn and Michelle says she didn't have enough money so I purchased the popcorn for her."

Thomas says Hawes had scratch marks on her and wanted to go to the bathroom to wipe her daughter's nose. Other customers inside tell News 12 before closing the restroom door, Hawes said she was upset after a fight with her boyfriend.

"As I got to the cash register, I was buying what I needed to buy and I looked at the cash register and I was like did you hear that? The screams got louder." said one customer, who was speaking to Thomas inside the store.

Thomas, "At first, it sounded like she was spanking them, then the second sound I heard, it didn't sound right."

Thomas tried to open the bathroom door, but it was locked. "I was calling her and she wouldn't open the door. I went back to get the key and it still wouldn't open. At that time, I didn't hear anything. We were trying to decide should we get the screwdriver? Should we open it before the cops get here?"

Within minutes, investigators pried open the bathroom door and found Hawes covered in blood, lying on the bathroom floor next to her dying children; a bloody steak knife nearby.

"She wasn't crying. She didn't show any emotion. Michelle, I'm praying for you. I don't know why you did what you did, she could've talked to me at least." adds Thomas who knew Michelle for about three years.

Jeanette Michelle Hawes is at the Richmond County Detention Center charged with two counts of murder, and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

Sandra Hawes, Michelle's aunt, told News 12 that Michelle had dreams of being a model and sometimes would tell friends and family she felt the children were holding her back.

Other customers inside the store say Hawes complained she was upset after a fight with her boyfriend. Sandra Hawes says the family knew she had a boyfriend, but they didn't know who he is.

Sandra Hawes says Michelle went to Atlanta to visit him with the two kids on Monday, returned Tuesday on a Greyhound bus with Jordan and Shakayla and wanted to go to Aiken, reportedly looking for her boyfriend again. Michelle's family says they last saw her at an Aiken KFC Tuesday. The family says they filed a missing person report on her Wednesday in Aiken. News 12 is still working to obtain this report. Sandra next saw Michelle Thursday, walking down Lumpkin Road with the children towards the store. Her aunt wanted to help her out and give them a ride, but couldn't because she was driving a school bus and feared loosing her job.

Sandra Hawes says knowing what she knows now, she wishes she had done more.


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