Hawk's Daughter and Son Take the Stand

Fresno, CA For more than four hours Dave and Debbie Hawk's son, Conrad took the stand and it was obvious Conrad and /*Dave Hawk*/ have a strained relationship.

The two barely made eye contact and they were seated just a few feet away from each other. In court, he told jurors of several heated moments with his dad.

Conrad Hawk testified his father, Dave, had "extreme hatred" for his mother, Debbie. In court, Conrad described an incident when Dave Hawk yelled at him.

Prosecutors asked, "What was he screaming at you about? Conrad said, "All having to do with my mom. Do I understand she's trying to sue him, trying to ruin his life, steal his home, she's trying to put my parents out on the street."

Conrad testified his dad wanted him to tell a child custody official that he wanted more time with Dave.

Dave Hawk is accused of killing his ex-wife, Debbie in June 2006 after prosecutors said she discovered he was stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars out of their children's trust funds. Dave Hawk's attorneys said Conrad has always suspected his father to be responsible for his mother's death because he's always favored his mother.

Dave Hawk's Attorney Dennis Peterson said, "Dave is probably upset and angry because he believes some of this testimony is exaggerated but maybe understandably because he had a bad relationship with his son."

Conrad testified he was also suspicious of his father after he saw Dave and Dave's girlfriend, Mary Royer, drinking wine and toasting one day after Debbie disappeared.

Prosecutor Larry Crouch said, "We've got a houseful of kids who are really concerned about their mother missing and the adults instead of comforting them are out on the patio drinking wine out on the sunset it's a pretty chilling picture to me."

Hawk's attorneys said they don't think Conrad's testimony will be damaging to their case.

"There's any number of people who have a motive and that doesn't make him guilty and there's no evidence of commission of any violence against Debbie Hawk," said Peterson.

Next week Hanford officers and Debbie friends will testify. Prosecution will likely rest their case by the middle of next week.

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.
Day 5 - August 14, 2009

Debbie and Dave Hawk's 19-year old son, Conrad, testified for more than a day. His testimony depicted quite a different picture than his two sisters' testimonies. Conrad spoke about several contentious arguments with his dad, including several moments where he told Conrad he was a terrible human being "just like his mother."

In court, Dave Hawk's attorneys tried to depict Conrad as an emotional teenager who loved his mother more than his father.

Dave Hawk's trial will likely wrap up a lot sooner than originally thought. Prosecutors believe they'll rest their case by Wednesday. The defense is expected to ask for a few days before they bring their witnesses.

Today the courtroom was close to full. A number of attorneys with the Kings County District Attorney's office plus even some of their family and friends are sitting in and watching the trial. They're joined by several Kings County residents and many relatives and friends of both Debbie and Dave.

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