Day Three of the Dave Hawk Murder Trial

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August 12, 2009 7:46:10 PM PDT
One of Debbie Hawk's neighbors testified she heard screams the night the Hanford mother was killed. Debbie's ex-husband, Dave Hawk, is on trial for her murder. Prosecutors say he killed Debbie after she learned he was stealing from their children's trust funds.The neighbor says she awoke to screaming at 2:00 a.m., the night Debbie was killed. She didn't tell police about the screams until she realized her neighbor had gone missing.

At first she wasn't sure if the screams came from a cat or human but the noise immediately caused her and her mother to jump out of bed and go to their back porch. She described it as a "death cry." On Wednesday morning, about a day after Debbie was discovered missing ... Janet Hughes testified ... "I saw the yellow crime tape around Debbie Hawk's house. Upon hearing there was somebody missing, I remembered back to the scream I heard that night. I so realized what I heard that night was her."

Prosecutors believe Debbie was murdered by her ex-husband, Dave Hawk, after she discovered he was stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from their children's trust funds. Prosecutors are refusing to comment about the case except to say it's proceeding faster than expected.

Earlier in the day, Dave Hawk's ex-girlfriend, Mary Royer, testified Dave didn't mention he had been questioned by police for several hours overnight back in 2006, or that his ex-wife had gone missing ... when he called Royer that morning.

Dave Hawk's Attorney Mark Coleman said, "The conversation in the morning if it wasn't a message left in a voicemail the conversation was a very brief conversation 'hey I'm going to be late' and it's not something you would want to talk to somebody over the phone about."

Debbie's child custody attorney Kim Aguirre took the stand after Royer. He said Debbie disappeared a month before she was expecting to take Dave to court over missing money from their children's trust accounts.

Over the next couple days, Debbie and Dave's three children are expected to testify.

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Hawk Trial Notes

Day 1 - August 10, 2009

Several of Debbie Hawk's friends showed up to court today wearing purple. They said "Debbie was a very regal and graceful person" and the color purple reminds them of Debbie.

Before the trial began, Dave Hawk's attorneys said numerous times that they didn't believe Dave Hawk could get a fair trial in Kings County because of the high publicity of the case. Today, a small handful of Hanford residents came to sit in and listen to part of the testimony. One of them remarked that they expected more people from the community to come out and watch the trial. Several of Debbie and Dave's friends were in court to listen to the testimony but most of them weren't there because they are witnesses in the trial. They're allowed to sit in on the trial after they take the stand. Dave and Debbie's three children plus Debbie's friends are expected to take the stand in the coming weeks.

During opening statements, prosecutors said Debbie tried to take Dave to court for stealing money from their children's trust funds one other time before 2006. In 1998, after the couple separated, prosecutors said Debbie learned Dave took several thousand dollars out of the trust funds. Prosecutors said in January 2001, Dave Hawk signed an agreement ordering him to pay back the money he took from the accounts plus $45,000 in child support. Prosecutors then said Dave Hawk withdrew $60,000 from a second set of trust funds his parents set up for Debbie and Dave's three children to pay off the accounts and child support.
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Day 2 - August 11, 2009

Several more Kings County residents sat in on Dave Hawk's trial today. Some commented that they want to try and watch the entire 6-8 week trial. When asked why they were interested in following the trial, one woman said many people in Kings County feel sorry the children have lost their mom and dad.

Mary Royer and Dave Hawk have known each other for ten years. Royer used to operate a daycare in her home. She first met Dave when he and Debbie wanted their three children cared for by her. Mary Royer and Dave Hawk started dating in October of 2000 after Debbie and Dave separated. She moved in shortly after. They continued their relationship until November of 2005 when she moved out. They took a break and began dating again close to Christmas of 2005.

In an effort to prove Dave Hawk misused his children's trust funds, they questioned Royer about a $26,000 Lexus Dave bought her. She claimed the Lexus was bought with Dave's money and also with a loan they received to pay off another car she owned.
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Day 3 - August 12, 2009

Dave Hawk's ex-girlfriend, Mary Royer, testified again that she felt threatened by police investigators as she was interviewed about Debbie's murder. Prosecutors played an audio recording of Mary Royer's interview with police investigators in 2006. In the recording, you can hear Royer tell police that Dave said his child custody disputes weren't going to stop till Debbie was dead. She said "That was part of the rhetoric, part of his mantra." An investigator was then heard asking, "Did you think he was serious?" She replied, "No. Never in my life did I think he'd kill her."

In the afternoon, a number of witnesses took the stand, testifying briefly about the financial crimes Dave Hawk is charged with. A loan consultant said Dave Hawk falsely filled out a loan form to refinance his mortgage. In it, he listed his children as employees of a business he claimed he owned.
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