Adrian Sainz, Huffington Post, June 11, 2011
A jury issued a death sentence Saturday for a Memphis man found guilty of murdering the mother of his three children and then dismembering and disposing of her body.
Hawkins’ 15-year-old daughter, the prosecution’s chief witness, had testified that her father repeatedly sexually abused her when she was 12 years old.
The girl said she saw her father stab and strangle 28-year-old Charlene Gaither during an argument on Feb. 9, 2008. Hawkins’ two sons, ages 13 and 14, also testified against him.
During the sentencing hearing Friday, jurors were shown six gruesome photos of Gaither’s torso, which had dark gray wounds where the head, feet and hands were removed. They also heard for the first time about Hawkins’ 17 prior convictions on aggravated robbery and aggravated assault charges.
The defense called witnesses, who testified that Hawkins had an IQ of 77 and suffers from attention deficit disorder.