Teen breaks into neighbor's house, ends up shot

By: Kate Tillotson Email
By: Kate Tillotson Email

April 26, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---He broke into her home...so she shot him.

19-year-old Justin "Brent" Haynie was arrested this morning for breaking into the home of his Lexington Drive neighbor, Theresa Wachowiak.

The 56-year-old woman shot him before he escaped, and he survived.

It was a burglary gone bad for Haynie. Little did he know his target was within arms reach of a revolver.

"Terrible. Scary, really," said neighbor Joann Hatchell. "I looked and this guy was sitting here and I didn't recognize him."

19-year-old Justin "Brent" Haynie was slumped over Hatchell's picnic table. He'd been shot.

"I said, 'Oh my God, that's Mary's grandson'," Hatchell told News 12.

The young man lived next door and often helped Hatchell with yard work, which is why she never imagined he'd break into the home of another neighbor, 56-year-old Theresa Wachowiak.

Woken up at 3:30 a-m, Wachowiak was startled by the intruder.

"She was initially, but she's a strong lady," said Sgt. Calvin Chew of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Sgt. Chew says what she did next may have saved her life: "She had a gun in her nightstand, and she was able to retrieve the gun during the assault and ended up shooting the suspect."

Shot in the chest, Haynie then left, leaving a bloody trail to Hatchell's yard.

News 12 found Haynie's cousin, Patrick, who didn't want his face shown on TV.

"I think that I'm glad he's still living, but maybe it'll make him not do some of the things he's done," Patrick Haynie said.

Hatchell, whose morning was unlike any other in her lifetime, fears what could have happened.

"Do you own a gun, and if not, do you want one now?" we asked her.

"Yes. I would love to have a gun," she said. "I'm telling you, you're not safe anymore."

Brent Haynie is still recovering from that gunshot. He faces several charges, including burglary, aggravated assault, kidnapping and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

We're told relatives have not been allowed to visit Haynie in the hospital because he's been placed under arrest.


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