Dave Hawk's Children Take the Stand

Hanford, CA Dave Hawk's daughters, thirteen-year old Savannah and seventeen-year old Chelsa, took the stand.

Prosecutors say Dave Hawk killed their mother, Debbie ... after she found out he was looting their children's trust funds.

The girls testified about finding blood in their mother's house when they came home. Dave Hawk's attorney said his client is upset his children have to testify in his murder trial.

Mark Coleman said "He's upset by the fact the kids walked in on the crime scene he feels sorry for them and I think he's very empathetic for what they're going through.

Chelsa Hawk is expected to continue her testimony Friday followed by her older brother, Conrad.

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.
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.
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.
Day 4 - August 13, 2009

Dave and Debbie Hawk's two daughters took the stand today. The two girls have kept up their grades remarkably during this family tragedy. 13-year old Savannah Hawk told attorneys on the stand that she was valedictorian at her junior high school. 17-year old Chelsa Hawk testified she also was valedictorian of her junior high school and is on schedule to be valedictorian of her high school class, as well.

The two young women stayed calm and focused during their testimony. Both would occasionally glance over at their father, Dave Hawk. The witness stand is awkwardly placed approximately five or six feet away from the defense is seated.

Earlier in the day, another neighbor, Tiffany Jones, testified she heard a scream the night Debbie went missing. Jones said she heard a scream at about 1:15am. Yesterday, Janet Hughes, another neighbor of Debbie's, testified she heard two screams at around 2:15am.

A computer forensic analyst also took the stand today. She testified about emails they discovered on Dave Hawk's personal computer that showed he had purchased a stun gun. She testified the stun gun was purchased in May of 2006, about a month before Debbie disappeared.

After the computer forensic analyst, Mark Dillon, who retired last year from the Hanford Police Department, testified about the pictures he took of the crime scene at Debbie Hawk's house. Prosecutors showed jurors 100 photos that Dillon took of the scene, including what appeared to be blood stains on Debbie's bedroom floor, blood splatters on the floor and laundry room, and blood stains on the floor of the laundry room. Since Debbie and Dave's children saw the crime scene, attorneys pointed out just a few pictures to Savannah and Chelsa to confirm the pictures matched what they saw when they walked into the house for the first time after their mother disappeared.

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