Texas Mom Imprisoned For Partying While Her Babies Baked To Death In Scorching Car
“People in our community take better care of their pets,” the judge told Amanda Hawkins.
KERR COUNTY, TX — A judge has sentenced a Texas mom to 40 years in prison after she partied and smoked marijuana with friends while her babies baked inside a hot vehicle for over 15 hours — leading to their slow and painful deaths.
“Those precious little girls would still be here today if this had not happened,” Judge Keith Williams told Amanda Hawkins, who will turn 21 on December 19, reported The Washington Post. “People in our community take better care of their pets than you took care of your kids.”
On June 6, 2017, an investigation proved, Hawkins intentionally left her two daughters, Brynn Hawkins, 1, and Addyson Overgard-Eddy, 2, overnight in her SUV in 90-degree weather.
When someone that evening asked the mom to bring the wailing children inside from the car, she refused. “She said: ‘No, it’s fine. They’ll cry themselves to sleep,’” said Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer.
Sometime during the night, Hawkins' friend, then-16-year-old Kevin Franke, headed out to the car to sleep because the house was too crowded. At around 8 A.M., he rolled up the windows, turned off the car and took the keys back inside to Hawkins and let her know he was leaving, according to police.
Franke now faces two counts of murder, among other charges, when he goes to trial in January. “He hardly knew Amanda and was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” attorney Richard Ellison has said of his client, who pleaded not guilty.
After Hawkins finally woke up and removed her unresponsive babies from the scorching vehicle around noon, she googled how to treat heat exhaustion, bathed them in cold water, and “did not immediately want to take the girls to the hospital, because she didn’t want to get into trouble,” noted Sheriff Hierholzer.
Hawkins finally relented and drove the babies to a regional medical center before they were transferred to San Antonio’s University Hospital. She told personnel that she and Franke had been at Flat Rock Lake and the girls were smelling flowers. When they got ready to leave, the two girls collapsed, possibly from touching or eating poisonous plants, claimed Hawkins.
Physician John Gebhart, who unsuccessfully spent 40 hours trying to help the little girls as they suffered an excruciating death from brain swelling and “profound” systemic shock, testified at trial that Hawkins “kept saying, ‘This is what happened,’ over and over.”
Staff eventually decided to remove the sisters from ventilators after they determined their lives could not be saved.
In September, Hawkins admitted guilt to two counts of injury to a child and two counts of abandoning or endangering a child causing imminent danger or death, bodily injury or physical or mental impairment.
At her December 12 sentencing, Hawkins told the judge she loved and cared about her daughters. “I will accept whatever the punishment may be," she said. "There are no excuses for what I did.”
The judge slapped Hawkins with four sentences of 20 years each, two of which will run concurrently, and she now faces up to 40 years behind bars.
“This is by far the most horrific case of child endangerment that I have seen in the 37 years that I have been in law enforcement,” said Sheriff Hierholzer.