Hartsville mom charged in 4 child deaths freed on $50,000 bond - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Hartsville mom charged in 4 child deaths freed on $50,000 bond

Posted: Updated:
Hope Hawkins Hope Hawkins
Hope Hawkins appeared in front of Judge Paul Burch for her 2nd bond hearing since April Hope Hawkins appeared in front of Judge Paul Burch for her 2nd bond hearing since April
HARTSVILLE, SC -

A Hartsville woman charged in connection with the deaths of her four young children was released from jail after her bond was lowered to $50,000 in a ruling Tuesday. 

Judge Paul Burch said that after much consideration he decided to reduce Hawkins' bond because she has no previous record, there is no evidence of drug abuse or use, and there is no indication of premeditation.  Judge Burch also told Hawkins that once she was out on bond she could not leave the state of South Carolina or be alone or live with anyone under the age of 18. 

Her mother, Leigh, was present in court along with several other family members who were very happy with Judge Burch's decision.

"I got what I wanted! My baby's home!" said Leigh.  "She's home, no more worrying! Thank you Lord Jesus!"

Hope Hawkins, age 21, was indicted last week on various charges including new charges of  involuntary manslaughter in the April deaths of her children ages 10 months to 4 years of age.

 Authorities say that Hawkins was not at the home when a fire broke out, swept through the mobile home and killed the children; however Hawkins' attorney, Tonya Copeland Little told News 13 otherwise on Tuesday afternoon.

Little said that according to her phone records, Hawkins was actually the first to dial 911, but because she was so frantic, dialed "699" instead.  Little also stated that they have an eyewitness that puts Hawkins at the mailbox in front of the house at the time of the fire.

"She's innocent until proven guilty, they say she wasn't home, but nobody knows that," said Tamika Wright, Hawkins' aunt.  "The only people who know what happened are Hope, those kids and God, so they need to stop judging her."

Hawkins appeared at an earlier bond hearing last month where a judge left her bond unchanged at $80,000. 

But, in the bond ruling at 2 pm Tuesday,  Judge Burch set an accumulative bond of $50,000.

Hawkins walked out of jail around 5:50 pm Tuesday and only shook her head when asked if she had something to say to reporters; but her cousin Katherine Douglas said that she was very happy to coming home, where she can continue to grieve over the loss of her four children.

  At her initial bond hearing in April the judge denied bond for homicide charges and set bond at $20,000 per count of unlawful neglect.

In Hawkins' last bond hearing on May 21, the judge said bond was under advisement and a decision will be made this month, after the grand jury met to consider the involuntary manslaughter charges.

A trial date has not yet been set.

  • Locals upset about new power-lines cutting through Hampton Park

    Locals upset about new power-lines cutting through Hampton Park

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:28 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:28:42 GMT
    In downtown Charleston, Hampton Park is a place to relax, to work-out, or to visit as a tourist...but some say the park is now divided.Downing Child lives in the Hampton Park Terrace neighborhood and she says SCEG's new power line rebuilding project is taking away from the park's natural beauty."It looks like it's either a ski lift or a highway," said Child. “These are not just hurricane-proof, they're monsters! They are really just too big for this beautiful park and historic residential str...
    In downtown Charleston, Hampton Park is a place to relax, to work-out, or to visit as a tourist...but some say the park is now divided.Downing Child lives in the Hampton Park Terrace neighborhood and she says SCEG's new power line rebuilding project is taking away from the park's natural beauty."It looks like it's either a ski lift or a highway," said Child. “These are not just hurricane-proof, they're monsters! They are really just too big for this beautiful park and historic residential str...
  • FBI Citizens Academy: SWAT Team

    FBI Citizens Academy: SWAT Team

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:58 PM EDT2014-08-29 02:58:57 GMT
    For the past month, we have been bringing you stories from the FBI Citizens Academy here in Charleston… and tonight, the 7 week course ended with a graduation for the attendees. But first a look at the SWAT team in the Low Country. Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Brian Womble, FBI, Charleston, “Our SWAT team is used frequently when we do any kind of high risk arrests around the state of South Carolina, they also deploy and support operations outside of South Carolina.” To prepare for hi...
    For the past month, we have been bringing you stories from the FBI Citizens Academy here in Charleston… and tonight, the 7 week course ended with a graduation for the attendees. But first a look at the SWAT team in the Low Country. Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Brian Womble, FBI, Charleston, “Our SWAT team is used frequently when we do any kind of high risk arrests around the state of South Carolina, they also deploy and support operations outside of South Carolina.” To prepare for hi...
  • Charleston Southern swamps NAIA Point 61-9

    Charleston Southern swamps NAIA Point 61-9

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:12 PM EDT2014-08-29 02:12:27 GMT
    CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Austin Brown, a transfer from UAB, threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more in his first game as Charleston Southern beat Point 61-9 on Thursday night.Brown completed 9 of 12 passes for 160 yards as the Buccaneers rolled in the season-opener, which was their first-ever night home game.Charleston Southern rolled up 336 yards on the ground and finished with 502 yards of total offense, picking up 27 first downs.Point had 152 yards of offense, but scored its points on...
    CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Austin Brown, a transfer from UAB, threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more in his first game as Charleston Southern beat Point 61-9 on Thursday night.Brown completed 9 of 12 passes for 160 yards as the Buccaneers rolled in the season-opener, which was their first-ever night home game.Charleston Southern rolled up 336 yards on the ground and finished with 502 yards of total offense, picking up 27 first downs.Point had 152 yards of offense, but scored its points on...
Powered by WorldNow

210 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Telephone: 843.216.4875
Fax: 843.881.3410
Email: news@wcbd.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.