Interviews with accused murderer heard in court

By: Megan Peterson and Kelly Schlicht Email
By: Megan Peterson and Kelly Schlicht Email

On Tuesday, family and friends of a murdered teen saw taped interviews between law enforcement and his accused killer.

Shane Hawkins, 30, of Chippewa Falls is charged with first degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the death of 17-year-old Jason Grau.

Tuesday in Chippewa County court, attorney's played the video after the defense filed a motion to suppress it as evidence. That means it asked the judge that the video not be used in a trial.

The motion hearing turned into a day long event as investigators took the stand.

On the nights surrounding Jason Grau's murder in February, Shane Hawkins was brought in for questioning.

"Are you saying that Jason is dead? Is that what you're saying?” Sgt. Dave Johnson with Chippewa Falls Police asked.

"Yeah," Shane Hawkins replied to him.

In court, videotaped interviews showed Hawkins talking about voices in his head.

"These voices in my head say if I don't go back home and drink some fish water and then throw it up and ask these one guys for mercy I'm gonna die forever," Hawkins told investigators.

He said people in heaven killed Jason Grau.

"When did they tell you they killed him? When did you find out about that? Do you remember?” Sgt. Johnson asked.

"They told me to do it or I would die," Shane said.

"They told you to do something or you will die?” Johnson asked.

"Yeah they told me to go drive around. Told me to go nuts," Hawkins replied.

On the stand, Department of Justice Agent John Christopherson said at some points Hawkins would interrupt questioning with random thoughts.

"After I die all the life on this planet will die," Hawkins said in an interview.

Investigators spent the day answering questions as attorneys worked to determine whether they did their job correctly on those February nights.

"You owe it to Jason to tell us what happened," Sgt. Johnson said.

“I don't know what happened," Hawkins replied.

"That's not what you told me last night," Sgt. Johnson countered.

"Oh, I plead the fifth. I'm done talking to ya. I just keep getting in worse trouble every time I talk to ya," Hawkins said.

In the afternoon, after a recess for lunch, a special agent with the Department of Justice out of Madison, Tami Sleeman, took the stand.

Sleeman and another detective were part of a second interview team to talk to Hawkins. The prosecution showed videos of interviews Sleeman had with Hawkins on Saturday, February 27th, just hours after Hawkins had officially been booked in the Chippewa County Jail.

"I'm evil," Hawkins says abruptly during questioning.

"Why?" asks Sleeman. “Why are you evil?”

"Because…I killed Jason,” says Hawkins, after a long pause. “That's not nice."

Hawkins goes on in the interviews with investigators to describe how he says he killed Grau.

"He was just laying on the couch and I just started stabbing him in the throat and stuff,” Hawkins says, nervously picking at his arms.

In further questioning by the same investigation team on February 28, Hawkins says he's "thinking about telling them everything."

"It's the longest, most insane story you'll ever hear,” he tells investigators. “It's just crazy. There's a lot of voices in my head…and I don't know where to begin."

He once again says voices told him to kill Grau.

"I know it was wrong. I mean I didn’t even freakin want to do it. He was my (explitive) friend," says Hawkins.

But Hawkins also says the voices told him to talk to investigators.

"They say tell the truth,” he says.

He tells investigators on tape he wishes he could disappear into another world.

After court today, Jason Grau's grandpa says the tapes were painful to watch. But, he wants a jury to see them, and wishes the trial would come sooner.

“I'd like it to end now so my daughter can get on with her life,” says Joe Whaley, Jason Grau’s grandpa.

Defense attorney Aaron Nelson declined to go on camera. Nelson asked investigators whether they took into account Hawkins’s mental health before interviewing him, as well as Hawkins’ previous head injuries and brain surgeries from a car crash when Hawkins was 14-years-old.

Nelson also focused heavy questioning on whether investigators properly followed procedures of not only reading Hawkins his Miranda rights, but also filling out the proper form waiving his right to an attorney before investigators questioned him.

Chippewa County Assistant District Attorney Roy Gay says statements like the ones made in the interviews are always important, but even if the judge decides none of the statements can be used, Gay says he can still proceed with the case against Hawkins.

The motion hearing wrapped up just before 5pm Tuesday night. No decisions were made. They are in recess until August 19th.


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