Hawk is also charged with the special circumstance of murder for financial gain, which could make this a death penalty case. Coleman adds "It's a first degree murder with special circumstances, so we have to proceed with caution."
Several of Debbie Hawk's friends came to show their support. Sandra Lackey says, "It's you know it's tough, to see someone my family has been associated with, that we went to church with, it's just very tough."
Hawk's arrest comes nearly two years after Debbie Hawk disappeared. Many Hanford residents believed there must have been a big break.
Bobbie Garcia, Hanford resident, says "I'm assuming he did it, otherwise they wouldn't have arrested him."
Shawn Johnson, Hanford, adds "They said he did it before, but he wasn't charged. Now he's charged, maybe they have evidence."
District Attorney Larry Crouch says the evidence has been on hand for awhile. Crouch says "I understand everybody thought well, Oh, there's been a major break, there hasn't. But once again I promised you for months now we were gonna file this case."
Crouch says the arrest came now because of circumstances he would not describe. And, Crouch acknowledged prosecuting the case could be a challenge.
Crouch added, "It's always difficult to proceed in a murder case without a body. The truth of the matter is we've got no new evidence."
Hawk's attorney Marc Coleman maintains the county doesn't have a case. "Well can anyone give me one fact that points to his guilt," says Coleman.
Coleman doesn't believe Hawk can get a fair trial here. He believes public opinion has been twisted by all the attention. It's certainly a case most here are thinking about.
Hanford Resident Ray Job wonders "Why did it take so long to arrest him. That's what I'm curious about. It should have been sooner."
Dave Hawk is scheduled to appear in court again on June 13th the two year anniversary of the disappearance of his ex-wife.
The couple's three children are with relatives in the Northern part of the state.