Hawks Fate Brought Tears to Supporters

December 4, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Dave Hawk showed little emotion during his murder trial and sentencing, but his fate brought tears to a lot of eyes as a fair share of supporters filled half the courtroom. His father told Action News they never expected a fair trial in Hanford, so the life sentence didn't surprise them, but it did upset them.

A series of somber faces exited the Kings County courthouse after the emotional hearing that led up to a life sentence for Dave Hawk.

Now a convicted killer, Hawk still has the faith of his daughters, his parents and many parishioners at Lemoore Presbyterian Church.

"We are his friends and we do love him," said the former pastor Sandy Brown. "He's been a part of our church, very active for the last nine years."

With the verdict already in and the sentence a foregone conclusion, only Chelsa Hawk spoke on her father's behalf before the judge sent her dad to prison.

But she was not alone in calling the decision an injustice.

"They think they found the perpetrator of this crime and they have not," said Brown. "So we'll probably never know really who's responsible for Debbie's disappearance."

In the quiet neighborhood where Debbie Hawk lived before she disappeared, many neighbors see eye-to-eye with the jury, despite the shortage of physical evidence tying Dave Hawk to his ex-wife's death.

"Who else?" asked Charles Nasers, who lives across the street from Debbie Hawk's old house in Hanford. "[Would someone] go and pick a neighbor and take a woman out?"

Debbie's family agrees, calling Dave a sociopath who's manipulating his daughters and church supporters.

"Hell will freeze over before that man ever admits he did anything wrong let alone be sorry for it," said Debbie's sister Diane Triantis.

The Hawks' former pastor says the whole situation is an emotionally draining tragedy.

"I know my wife was crying," Brown said, "but I don't know if I had any tears left for [Friday]."

The Hawks' two daughters both live with their paternal grandparents. They're both getting very good grades and Chelsa is a youth leader at the same church where her dad has so much support.


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