An Indiana woman was sentenced to over five decades in prison over the 2020 shooting death of a minor from Chicago.
Kristy Hawkins, 40, was found guilty of murder in the 2020 shooting death of Allen Williams, 17. The two were involved in an altercation in the early morning hours of June 13 at an apartment complex.
Hawkins was sentenced to 45 years in prison for the killing, with an additional seven years for a firearm enhancement charge. Those sentences will be served consecutively. She faced a maximum 85 years in prison.
Unlike most U.S. states, Indiana only has one murder statute that does not differentiate between degrees.
According to charging documents reviewed by Law&Crime, Hawkins, Williams, and two of Williams’ cousins were at a “gathering of a number of people” in the parking lot of the apartment complex when an argument broke out.
“Hawkins stated that she was at the party at the apartment complex and was drinking with others,” the probable cause affidavit says. “She further stated that at some point during the night, she ‘felt threatened’ by the ‘crowd’ who were accusing her of being part of the racial unrest in the country.”
Witnesses told police that they had seen Watkins, who is white, argue with another woman before going to her car and retrieving a gun. Witnesses told police that she then fired “multiple times.” One of those bullets struck Williams, who is Black, in the chest.
When questioned by police, Hawkins offered several different reasons for why she took out and fired her weapon.
“Hawkins stated that she fired the gun just once ‘in the air’ and then ‘lost control’ of her handgun as it flew out of her hand,” the probable cause affidavit says. “In an effort to find her handgun, Hawkins said she got down on the ground to look for it. Hawkins claimed that many people then fired weapons.”
Hawkins also told police that she saw Williams on the ground and thought that he was having a seizure, so she attempted to render aid by crawling over to him and cradling his head. But, when people in the crowd told her to leave, she did. Witnesses, however, contradicted that account as well. Instead, the witnesses said, after shooting Williams, the defendant “calmly got into her vehicle and left the scene,” according to the court document.
Police and prosecutors alleged, and later told jurors, that audio disproved Hawkins’ story about multiple guns being fired. That claim was also contradicted by several witnesses at the scene.
On the day of the murder, police arrived just before 4:00 a.m. in response to a report of shots fired in the parking lot at the apartment complex and an unidentified person lying on the ground.
“Upon arriving in the neighborhood, officers found a male juvenile on the ground suffering gunshot wound injuries; he was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased,” the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office said in a press release about the initial arrest.
According to the South Bend Tribune, police had to use a “a chemical irritant” to disperse the crowd of some 5o-70 youths who had gathered at the apartment complex that night and “get people back” in order to reach the victim. Hawkins was later ascertained as the suspect in the shooting through the use of social media and witness testimony.
Hawkins was taken into custody four days after the shooting. Two days after that, prosecutors filed formal charges against her.
[image via St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office]
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