Update on the HAWES case......
Andrew Hawes convicted in brother's killing
An Anoka County jury found him guilty of aiding and abetting murder in the first degree. Earlier this year, the brothers' sister also was convicted in the 2008 case.
By PAUL LEVY, Star Tribune
Last update: April 30, 2010 - 2:47 PM
Andrew Hawes was convicted Friday in the killing of the brother he once "worshipped," a man he called "his best friend" and whom Andrew's attorney said he was "so much alike."
On the second day of deliberations, an Anoka County jury found Hawes guilty of aiding and abetting the murder of Edwin Hawes at Edwin's Andover home in October 2008. He will be sentenced next Friday.
Andrew, 38, was the second sibling to be convicted in a tragic family saga. Elizabeth Hawes, 45, was found guilty in January of aiding and abetting first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. A third person, Andrew's fiancée, Kristina Dorniden, also has been charged and awaits trial in June.
Edwin Hawes, 46, was shot with a crossbow, bludgeoned and beaten, and run over with his car at his home on Oct. 29, 2008. His brother and his sister then took his body to a farm 200 miles away, where it was burned in a fire pit.
Andrew's fingerprints were not found on the crossbow; nobody's were. But Andrew testified that he accidentally backed the car over his brother, later dragged Edwin's body into the fire pit and started the fire.
Asked about Andrew Hawes' reaction to Friday's verdict, public defender Bryan Leary said: "He said he wasn't expecting that at all. He expected [to be convicted] accomplice after the fact."
During the two-week trial, Andrew testified that it was his brother-in-law, Daniel Romig, who killed Edwin, a claim Romig's attorney has dismissed. Romig has not been charged in the case.
Prosecutors contended that the killing was the culmination of a family schism, with Andrew believing that Edwin had embezzled more than $1 million from a family lawn-care business.
In March of 2007, after a computer trail had convinced Andrew that Edwin was writing company checks that had nothing to do with the lawn service, he ransacked his brother's office and left a threatening note, Andrew testified. Edwin never returned to the company.
Prosecutors Paul Young and Deidre Aanstad said that the company that Andrew began as a teenager and turned into a multi-million dollar outfit was heavily in debt and near dissolution.
Andrew and Elizabeth sought to have Edwin charged with embezzling, but there were no charges.
Testimony indicated that a key item in the case was a company car.
Edwin had a Volkswagen Passat that Hawes Lawn Service had financed. Andrew wanted it back. Edwin was doing everything possible to avoid having it repossessed, Andrew testified.
"These brothers were so much alike," Jennifer Pradt, one of Andrew's two public defenders, said in her closing argument Thursday. "They were both stubborn and nobody was going to give in."
So Andrew devised a plan. Pradt told the jury that on the night of the killing, he sought to surprise Edwin at his home with the intent of quickly getting the car. But in her closing argument, Aaanstad said the plan called for an ambush, in which Edwin would be killed.
Andrew testified that it was Romig who confronted Edwin, shot him with the cross bow and then pummeled him with his fist. Expert witnesses said that Edwin was shot from behind, the arrow piercing his lung.
Andrew testified that he did run over his brother's body with the Passat, but said he'd panicked, that it was an accident, that he had no idea what he'd hit.
Pradt and fellow public defender Bryan Leary portrayed Andrew, a diabetic with a thyroid condition, as someone who battled illness often and simply wasn't strong enough to break up the alleged confrontation between Romig, a 300-pounder, and Edwin, who at 180 pounds also was bigger than his brother.
Yet, Andrew testified that he was the one who, after two diabetic attacks hours before, dragged his brother's body out of a pickup truck and threw it into the fire pit. He testified that he ignited the fire.http://www.startribune.com/local/north/925...GEP7vDEh7P:DiUs