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Posted: 9:16 AM Jan 21, 2011
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Find background information and a Day 1 recap here.
The criminal complaint shows Shane Hawkins admitted to stabbing 17-year-old Jason Grau. In November, Hawkins pleaded guilty, but also, not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
Here’s a look back at the death investigation.
On the night of February 24th, 2010, Jason Grau’s body was found near a bike path along the Chippewa River near downtown Chippewa Falls.
“This type of investigation requires a great deal of detail,” then Interim Police Chief in Chippewa Falls John Liddell said in February.
Investigators determined Grau had been killed two days before, on February 22nd. An autopsy showed he died of multiple stab wounds to the neck and back.
The criminal complaint shows a witness dropped Grau off at Shane Hawkins’ home around 1 a.m. the morning he died.
On February 26th, investigators searched Hawkins’ home and found a couch soaked in blood, and discarded bloodied clothing in a garbage bin outside. Officers arrested Hawkins that day.
In March, Jason Grau’s mom told WEAU Hawkins had been Jason’s friend for a while.
“It still doesn’t seem real. I don’t think it ever will,” Jennifer Grau said then.
In taped interviews between investigators and Hawkins, Hawkins admits to killing Jason.
Shane: “I’m evil.”
Shane: “I killed Jason. That’s not nice.”
Shane: “He was just laying on the couch and I just started stabbing him in the throat and stuff.”
Hawkins also talked about voices in his head and how he needed to go home and drink fish water. In March, Hawkins was charged with first degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.
“We have a knife that the defendant says he used in the murder,” Chippewa County District Attorney Jon Theisen said in March.
Those grieving the loss of Jason, marked the spot he was found with flowers and wrote a message for the boy who loved the outdoors.
“I can’t believe he’s gone,” a friend of Jason’s said in March.
“I don’t know why someone would kill a 17-year-old boy. It just doesn’t make sense,” another friend added.
In November, Hawkins pleaded guilty, but not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. His pleas mean he’ll either be sent to prison or be institutionalized.
After a change of venue request was granted, the trial was set for Dunn County. Hawkins’ Defense Attorney Aaron Nelson told WEAU then, he was happy with the move.
“The judge has been doing this a long time and he’s made the decision, and I’ll go along with that decision,” Nelson said in November.
Now it’s up to a Dunn County jury to decide whether Hawkins knew right from wrong when Grau was killed and whether he could act accordingly.
TRIAL RECAP DAY ONE:
Lawyers tried to convince a jury about a murder suspect’s mental state on the first day of his trial.
“He knows he murdered someone, Mr. Hawkins knows he’s a suspect, he knows he’s been arrested and the crazy bizarre behavior started in the police station,” says Chippewa County District Attorney Jon Theisen in his opening statement to the jury.
Shane Hawkins is accused of killing 17-year-old Jason Grau last February. On Wednesday the jury was picked and opening statements got underway late in the afternoon. Both sides had their first shot at showing the jury their side of the story.
“Shane believed, as a result of his delusions as well as his hallucinations, that he needed to kill Jason in order to transform his sins into Jason,” says Shane Hawkins’ defense Attorney Aaron Nelson.
Nelson says Hawkins didn’t know what he was doing the night of the murder. DA Theisen says Hawkins did know what he was doing and read from a statement Hawkins made to investigators.
“I cleaned everything, the kitchen, the bathroom, the carpet. I had difficulty cleaning all of the blood. I didn’t want to get caught. I threw up in the car as I drove away it made me sick to deal with a dead body and to do everything I had done,” read Theisen.
Theisen says he’s ready to show that Hawkins did know what he was doing when he killed Jason Grau as Grau slept on Hawkins’ couch. Hawkins is also accused of dumping the teenager’s body near the Chippewa River. In November, Hawkins pleaded guilty, but not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
“The voices tell him you need to take that body down to the river that’s the sacred place and once we know the body is down by the river you’re going to disappear and save all mankind,” says Nelson.
“Evidence will show Mr. Hawkins was conscious of what he was doing, he made choices and he had an emotional touch with what he was doing,” says Theisen.
The trial was moved to Dunn County after a change of venue request was approved by a Chippewa County Judge.
“Day one went as expected we got a fair jury, I believe in the jury system and I believe in our community and these standards and deciding these issues,” says Nelson.
After court Chippewa County DA Jon Theisen told us jury selection started slowly but he says he’s happy with how the day went.
TRIAL RECAP DAY 2
The trial for the man who confessed to killing a 17-year-old Eau Claire teenager continued Thursday. The court heard from mental health professionals and people close to the man on trial, Shane Hawkins. They all talked about their experiences with him and his behavior before and after he killed Jason Grau.
“He said that at any time, “they’re going to take me, (quoting Hawkins) that I’m (Hawkins) going to die and when I do my heart will explode, my scream is going to be heard around the world,” says Hawkins’ brother-in-law Jeremy Kitchens as he described what Shane told him and his wife just days after the murder.
Family, friends and mental health professionals took the stand to talk about Shane Hawkins’ mental status during the past few
years, and in the days surrounding the murder.
“He started getting deadly thoughts about killing someone. He stated he thought it was because he had not taken his antidepressants,” says Hawkins’ case manager, Corin Tubridy.
“The jury learned a lot about Shane’s mental health as well as his behaviors that were going on around the time of crime and before the crime was committed,” says Aaron Nelson, Hawkins’ attorney.
Chippewa County District Attorney Jon Theisen says so far there has been a lot of testimony about the years before the murder but he says he’s heard little about the night of the crime.
While we heard from Shane’s friends, family and people who worked with Shane’s and his health in the past his attorney says we will be hearing from Shane on the stand as well.
“I expect Shane would want to tell his story to the jury, yes,” says Nelson.
Some of the people on the stand did testify Hawkins has made comments about death in the past but say he never named a particular person and they didn’t believe the comments put anyone in danger.
Hawkins confessed to killing the teenager but now the jury must decide if he suffered from a mental disease or defect when he committed the crime.
On day two of the trial for a confessed murderer, mental health professionals and family members talked about Shane Hawkins.
They described meetings they’ve had in the past with Hawkins.
“He said he started getting deadly thoughts about killing someone. He stated he thought it was because he had not taken his antidepressants,” Mental Health Case Manager with Starting Points in Chippewa Falls Corin Tubridy said.
While Hawkins has been found guilty of stabbing 17-year-old Jason Grau to death, the jury must now decide if he suffered from a mental disease or defect when he committed the crime.
“My assessment was I think Shane is at risk for aggressiveness and mood instability especially in the face of drinking alcohol,” Luther Midelfort Psychiatrist William Weggel read back from his reports.
Based on evidence presented in court, the jury will decide whether he goes to prison or an institution.
Weggel testified he’d prescribed medications for Hawkins in the past because of mood and cognitive disorders. But the doctor said Hawkins stopped talking his medications.
Both the psychiatrist and mental health case worker testified Hawkins has made comments about death in the past. But neither thought his comments put anyone in danger.
“I asked him if he was thinking about killing anyone specific and he said no,” Tubridy said.
Hawkins’ attorney says Shane himself will take the stand at some point during the trial, but he hasn’t said when.
TRIAL RECAP DAY 3 (FRIDAY)
Testimony on Friday gave us a better idea of what Hawkins’ family and a doctor thinks of his mental state. That testimony also revealed new information about the night of the murder.
The family talked about how Shane was a different person after an accident back in 1994 where he was hit by a car while crossing a street. A doctor who met with him after the murder says the accident could be one of the factors that lead to the crime. They all think he’s had a mental illness since that crash almost 17-years ago.
“Everything was different. It wasn’t even the same person anymore,” says Brandi Kitchens, Shane’s sister.
“It was like I didn’t even know him,” says Justin Hawkins, Shane’s brother.
Shane Hawkins’ brother and sister told jurors, they never thought his behavior would lead to something like this. The doctor the defense hired to talk with Shane after the crime told the court he thinks Hawkins believed he had to kill 17-year-old Jason Grau and his behavior could be explained in part by the accident.
The doctor also talked about what Hawkins told him about the night of the murder. He says Hawkins told him he put a towel over Jason’s head because he (Hawkins) didn’t want to see his face and to keep him from screaming.
“He told Jason he was sorry as he put a knife in Jason’s throat,” says Psychologist Dr. Brian Stress.
“He’s already been found guilty of the murder, the issue is his mental stability and there’s a lot of information on his mental stability so it’s important we get that to the jury and they get a hard look at it and decide,” says Chippewa County District Attorney, Jon Theisen.
Both attorneys say the weekend gives them a breather but it also has its own set of challenges.
“It gives you more time to prepare, more time to be anxious, more time to stress out and lose sleep also more time to be away from your family but more time to work,” says Shane Hawkins’ Attorney, Aaron Nelson.
“It’s beneficial that I have two days to go to the office and work opposed to working here yeah it’s beneficial,” says Theisen.
Doctor Stress also told the jury how Hawkins thought killing Grau would lead to him becoming a supreme being inside the bubbles, which Hawkins told the doctor, are part of a greater universe.
We’ll have continued coverage of the case when it starts back up Monday morning.
The family of the man who admitted to killing a teenager last year has given us a clearer picture of what he was like in the years leading up to the crime.
The jury in the Shane Hawkins trial has the job of deciding whether Hawkins suffered from a mental disease or defect at the time of the crime. And whether he knew right from wrong when he stabbed 17-year-old Jason Grau of Eau Claire to death.
The jury and family and friends of Jason Grau heard testimony from some of Hawkins’ family members on Friday. One of Hawkins’ brothers and his sister took the stand.
Brandi Kitchens says her brother was a typical young boy..
“He went to school. He got good grades,” she testified.
Until 1994, when Hawkins was hit by a car. That’s when she and her brother Justin say Shane changed.
“He was a totally different person,” Brandi said.
“His personality was totally different. It was like I didn’t even know him,” Shane’s brother Justin Hawkins said.
Their testimony focused on comments Shane has made and his actions since the accident.
“He’d be calm one minute and then he’d just snap,” Justin said.
Hawkins family was asked about a trip they took to Green Bay to visit his brother Justin soon before the crime happened last February.
“I didn’t recognize him,” Justin remembered.
Brandi said she and her husband have talked about getting Shane committed in the past, but that the rest of her family didn’t agree.
“We called my brothers and they said he’s just trying to push your buttons. He’ll be fine,” Brandi said while crying on the stand.
His brother says Shane behaved strange often, but he thought that was just Shane being Shane.
“Maybe if we had done something about it, this never would have happened. I knew he behaved strangely. I didn’t know that it was so severe that something like this might happen,” Justin said.
The mother of a teenager who was stabbed to death last year speaks out for the first time since the beginning of a trial for the man who admitted to killing him.
A jury will decide whether Shane Hawkins, 30, of Chippewa Falls was mentally ill when he stabbed Jason Grau, 17, of Eau
Claire to death.
Grau’s mother, Jennifer, says she believes Hawkins used reverse psychology during his testimony on Monday. He repeatedly told the jury, “You’re not going to believe what I say,” and even said that a higher power wanted him to go to jail.
Hawkins told the court that he was the first baby born in heaven 1,200 eternities ago, and that he heard voices telling him it was his responsibility to kill someone.
“I needed to pick somebody to kill, so I picked somebody that I didn’t like that much,” Hawkins told the court. He says, later, he realized that those voices lied.
“It sounded like a backward church ceremony that came out of a video game,” Jennifer Grau said when we asked her about Hawkins’ testimony.
She also says she collapsed after hearing some details of her son’s murder earlier on Monday.
“He’s not stupid, he’s not crazy,” she said. “I mean, anyone who kills someone has mental issues, but it doesn’t mean that they need to be in a mental hospital.”
The judge adjourned Monday’s hearing just after 5 p.m. while District Attorney Jon Theisen was still cross-examining Shane Hawkins. He’ll continue that cross-examination tomorrow.”
Prosecutors compare the situation to a double-edged sword.
“It provides an opportunity to continue preparation,” Assistant District Attorney Roy La Barton Gay. “At the same time, it would have been nice to get it over with for the jury, so they could hear it at one time.”
Jennifer says it makes it easier for her, than to hear Hawkins’ testimony all at once.
“I don’t care where he goes, as long as he goes away, and doesn’t ever go on the streets again,” she said.
The judge ruled that one of the prosecution’s expert witnesses can’t testify in the trial, because it would cause unfair prejudice against Hawkins.
Gay told us he wasn’t pleased with the decision, but that the prosecution will call two more expert witnesses to testify during the next couple days.
Defense attorney Aaron Nelson declined to comment after court on Monday.
Shane Hawkins took the stand on Monday during day four of a trial to determine if he was mentally ill when he stabbed 17-year-old Jason Grau to death.
Hawkins told jurors he was the first baby ever born in heaven. He said at some point during his trial the gods would come for him. While on the stand he called the victim Jason Grau an easy target.
“When I killed Jason Grau I said I’m sorry and I killed him. Normally I would’ve never gone through with killing someone. But I needed to pick someone to kill so I picked someone I didn’t like so much,” Hawkins testified.
Shane Hawkins started his testimony by explaining how he was first created.
“Gods came and they wrote questions on my mind. The same thing they do on everyone’s mind,” Hawkins said on the stand.
He says he became the gods’ most powerful warrior and their sword.
“The things they were doing to me, they weren’t supposed to be doing. They were doing some bad things. They believed I would betray god,” he said.
Hawkins testified he’s killed before, on other planets.
“It’s odd to me the whole killing someone and all that comes after that. I’ve done it on other planets and I was only in jail for four months,” he added under oath.
He says he’s waiting for gods to come any day and explain.
“Right now I’m waiting for god. They could show up today or sometime over the week while I’m in court. It’s how they do things,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins says he’s been a fight with some religious figures.
“God let the bad father kill Jesus Christ and then I killed the bad father. I know you’re not gonna believe any of this, but I’m not even mad at you. You’re gonna have to see it to believe it,” he added.
Hawkins said on the stand killing is wrong, but it’s what God wanted him to do.
“It is wrong to kill, and see God wants me in jail. God wanted me in jail,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins Trial Day 5
A psychologist who examined the man who admitted to killing a teenager last year, couldn’t say that he wasn’t responsible for it because of mental issues.
A jury will decide whether Shane Hawkins, 30, of Chippewa Falls was mentally ill when he stabbed Jason Grau, 17, of Eau Claire to death.
Doctor Greg Van Rybroek said that after hours of talking with Hawkins and reviewing documents, the doctor’s opinion is that Hawkins has a mental illness, but he says he didn’t hear enough from him to say that he couldn’t help but commit the crime.
Doctor Van Rybroek was the third of three psychologists to examine Hawkins. As he tried to figure out what reality was for Hawkins at the time of the crime, he says Hawkins seemed angry, and didn’t show the signs of psychosis he did in other interviews.
“If he said something different, in the orbs and the rest, that would have given me an opportunity to go after him different,” Van Rybroek said.
“Shane wasn’t willing to divulge certain information,” Hawkins’ attorney Aaron Nelson said. “Until Shane divulges that information, he couldn’t make a decision.”
Prosecutors phrase it differently.
“His opinion to the jury was that Hawkins did not meet the requirements for being found not responsible,” Assistant District Attorney Roy La Barton Gay said.
A psychologist who testified earlier told the court he thinks Hawkins believed he had to kill Grau, but his tests were different, and so was the data he ended up with.
“It’s for the jury to decide which expert’s opinion, if either one, they’re going to rely on,” Gay said. “They’re not required to rely on either one of them.”
Hawkins’ attorney says Dr. Van Rybroek just needed more information to see that he couldn’t help but commit the crime.
“Our position is the jury’s got the “more” already,” Nelson said. “They’ve heard from more people, gotten more evidence than what Dr. Van Rybroek had.”
Nelson says the third psychologist to examine Hawkins will testify Wednesday morning. Prosecutors say they will call about five more witnesses to testify, but that closing arguments could start as soon as Wednesday.
Shane Hawkins says he can no longer hear the voices in his head that told him to murder someone last February.
Hawkins continued his testimony in Dunn County court Tuesday morning as the jury works to decide if he was mentally ill when he stabbed 17-year-old Jason Grau to death. Tuesday marked day five of the trial.
Hawkins made more blunt statements on the stand about why and how he killed Grau. He talked more about the voices in his head, but on Tuesday he told jurors he recently quit listening to those voices.
“I called him that night and had him come over with the full intent to kill him,” Hawkins said on the stand.
More details from Hawkins in court Tuesday as to why he stabbed Jason Grau to death.
“I didn’t want it to take as long as it did to kill him. Turned out he didn’t even know he was dead. That’s a different story,” Hawkins testified.
Hawkins told the jury killing is wrong and should only be done in self defense, but that he didn’t follow that rule.
39;t self defense. This was associates of God telling me to go through with something, and I don’t expect you to believe me until you see them come here,” he explained.
Again he testified it was the voices that told him to kill.
“It was like it was something that was part of the war; the war that’s lasted 700 eternities. I knew that I had to go through with killing someone,” Hawkins said.
But when the state asked if the voices told Hawkins to clean up afterward, he said no, that was his choice.
“They told me nobody would see any of the blood or smell it or hear me killing Jason. They said there would be no evidence,” he said.
Now, Hawkins says those voices are gone.
“I’ve just recently quit listening to the voices. I can’t hear them anymore when I try to listen to them. In the beginning, I didn’t have a choice of listening to them. I heard them all the time,” Hawkins said.