NBC’s ‘Dateline: The Disappearance of Debbie Hawk’ recounts how Dave Hawk conspired to murder his estranged wife, Debbie Hawk, at her Handford, California, home in June 2006. The prosecution said that the main motivation behind the act was to conceal his theft of several thousand dollars from the trust funds for their children. However, he claimed his innocence during his brief appearance on the show. What then is Dave’s name and current location? Let’s find out.
Who is Dave Hawk?
The son of Stan and Lois Hawk, David “Dave” Martin Hawk met Deborah “Debbie” Triantis Hawk after their common acquaintances set them up on a blind date in the late 1980s. They were married within a year and built a home among his family’s almond groves in Lemoore in Kings County, California. Conrad, Chelsa, and Savannah were the couple’s three children who were born within the first nine years of their union. According to court filings, Stan set up irrevocable trust funds for each of the children in October 1997.
Stan financed the accounts with cash and securities in October 1997. Court documents state that Debbie and Dave were the original co-trustees on the accounts. Yet, their marriage terminated, with the former petitioning for the dissolution of their marriage in 1998. After divorce proceedings began, Dave’s father set up another irrevocable trust account for each child, stopped pouring money into the first batch of accounts, and declared him the sole trustee of the second set of trust accounts.
In the midst of the ongoing divorce proceedings, Dave began dating Mary Royer. She managed a daycare in her house and cared for his three kids there. The divorce was finalized in 2000, and Mary moved into the Hawk family home with Dave in October 2000. According to court documents, she later testified how he commented there was not enough punishment in the world for all the crimes Debbie had committed against him and regularly blamed her for hurting him and taking his children away.
Court records suggest that Dave was unemployed between 1999 and October 2000. He found a job in 2000 summer with the Central California Almond Growers Association. Dav departed that position in the spring of 2001 and was unemployed through November 2005. Mary stated that he once bought the domain name BuyNuts.com with the intention of launching an online nut business. She also stated she and Dave lived primarily on his deposits into their joint checking account. The money, according to Mary, came from his investments.
In a lawsuit filed in October 2000, Debbie said that Dave had been taking money out of the first set of trust accounts intended to fund the kids’ education. Although he admitted taking $1,500, he said it was for Chelsa’s appendectomy. When proven otherwise, the court ordered Dave to be dismissed as trustee of the accounts on January 8, 2001, and reimburse the money with interest. He was required to provide Debbie $45,000 right once, transfer and divide some stocks, and cover her legal bills and expenses.
In June 2001, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) discovered that Dave had been paying child support on time. He was then found to be nearly 14 months — or $7,400 — in arrears in a July 2002 contempt hearing. By April 2004, Dave had submitted an application for a mortgage loan totaling $201,000 to pay off the existing loan on his Lemoore property. In order to prove he wasn’t self-employed, he allegedly used his children’s names as registrants in his false business name declaration, which is how the court documents claim he committed fraud.
Where is Dave Hawk Now?
Due to his perception that his ex-wife earned more money than him, Dave approached DCSS in November 2005 and asked to have the child support amount modified. Furthermore, he filed a response asking for increased custody and decreased child support on January 17, 2006. Nonetheless, Debbie’s counsel subpoenaed Dave’s financial records and the children’s trust accounts’ statements to find he had withdrawn thousands of dollars from the children’s trust accounts. The kids spent every other weekend at his house as per their split parenting arrangement.
On June 13, 2006, Debbie was supposed to pick up the kids from his house at 5:45 PM. Dave and the kids contacted her frequently when she didn’t arrive at the scheduled time, but she never answered. He proposed driving the children to their mother’s Hanford residence. When the three kids got home, they discovered a blood trail that went from the master bedroom to the garage. The officials assumed Debbie had been murdered based on the volume of blood and other evidence.
According to court filings, Dave made many incriminating admissions to his best friend, Keith Marshall, during the following months. Conrad Hawk, his eldest son, also claimed to have seen a blood-spattered envelope, but he refused to turn himself in to the police. Keith even donned a wire to record additional accusatory talks, but no meaningful recordings were made. Dave was arrested in early 2007 after police uncovered evidence of the alleged theft and embezzlement of more than $300,000 from his three kids’ funds.
On May 29, 2008, Dave was arrested for murder despite the fact that Debbie’s body had not been located by the police. He asserted the authorities were seeking to prosecute him based on “a series of inferences.” He claimed, “I was home with my children in another town all night. His defence attorney even sought to blame the crime on some random junkie since Debbie worked as a Pharmaceutical Representative. However, I’m being accused of being in another location and committing a heinous crime based on financial shenanigans that didn’t exist in the first place.
A jury convicted Dave of first-degree murder, five charges of tax evasion, three acts of embezzlement, grand theft, and perjury. He was convicted to life without parole on December 2009. He filed an appeal against his conviction, but in 2014 the sentence was affirmed. Dave resubmitted his request for a forensic review after Debbie’s remains were discovered in March 2016. His conviction stood because the remains were too decayed. Today, the 64-year-old is serving his sentence at the Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California.
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