Trial begins for second sibling in Anoka family murder case

  • Article by: PAUL LEVY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 19, 2010 - 3:49 PM

It wasn't Edwin Hawes' brother who murdered him by running him over, shooting him with a cross bow and beating him to death in 2008, a public defender said Monday in Anoka County Court.  It was Hawes' brother-in-law, the attorney said.

That claim was made in opening arguments of the trial for Hawes' brother, Andrew Hawes.

In a family dispute that spiraled horribly out of control, Edwin Hawes, 46, was beaten, shot with cross bow and run over with a car at his Andover home before his brother and sister, Andrew and Elizabeth Hawes, drove a pickup truck carrying Edwin's body 200 miles to a family farm in Cottonwood County, where the body was burned in a fire pit in Oct. 2008, according to court documents.

When authorities arrived at the farm and asked Elizabeth Hawes about the large illegal fire that was burning on the property, her response was, "That's not my brother."

Elizabeth Hawes was convicted in January of first degree murder in planning Edwin's gruesome death. Andrew Hawes, 37, is now on trial for allegedly aiding and abetting first degree murder. He was not on the farm property when authorities arrived.

Public defender Jennifer Pradt said Monday that it was Elizabeth Hawes' husband, Daniel Romig, who shot Edwin with a crossbow at Edwin's home.

Andrew hero-worshiped his brother Edwin, the public defender said. The Hawes brothers, Andrew and Edwin, were partners in a lawn care business. Edwin handled all the financial books.

But in 2007, Andrew discovered that Edwin had kept a second set of books. and Andrew and Elizabeth Hawes wondered where all the money had gone. The siblings went to various authorities to see if charges could be pressed against Edwin for embezzlement.

But no charges were ever brought against him, said Paul Young, assistant Anoka County Attorney, who said it was Andrew, indeed, who was responsible for his brother's death.

At one point, an order for protection was placed against Elizabeth Hawes and she was ordered not to be near Edwin.  But on Sept. 28, 2008, Edwin's roommate reported that Elizabeth Hawes was on their property in Andover. She claimed to be looking for Edwin, Young told the jury.

Young gave the jury the follow account of what allegedly happened a month later:

On Oct. 29, Edwin went to work, then went to Lifetime Fitness in Andover and left the health club at 6 p.m. He was never heard from again.

At that time, Andrew's phone could be traced to just a few blocks away.

By 7 p,.m, Edwin's neighbor, Tom Richards, reported unusual noises in Edwin's driveway. Hours later, at 2:34 a.m., on Oct. 30, police found Elizabeth Hawes walking near Edwin's home, a violation of the protection order. She was arrested.

Police also made contact nearby with Andrew Hawes. Andrew was released, having suffered a diabetic attack.

Police then went to Edwin's home and found no sign of him.

The same day they found a larger blood stain in the driveway and his wallet in the street. Also found at the house were hammers, mallets, bleach bottles and blood on the side of the house. A crossbow also was found.

Police learned that Andrew and his girlfriend, Kristina Dorniden, owned property in Cottonwood County in southwestern Minnesota. Later that evening, local police went to that property and found the raging fire. Daniel Romig's pickup truck was there.

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