The Herald Bulletin

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August 20, 2013

Woman's request denied for new trial in ex-husband's murder

INDIANAPOLIS — A Marion woman, who was convicted of killing her ex-husband in 2007, was turned down Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals in her bid to seek a new trial.

During the 2004 crime, Joyce Ann Hawkins left her ex-husband's truck in a parking lot at the Subway restaurant near Interstate 69 in Pendleton. She was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the murder of Tim Hawkins.

Before the homicide, the couple had divorced but were living together in Gas City, according to court documents. Tim Hawkins disappeared in March 2004. On March 9, a trucking company he worked for received a message that read, "I [sic] sorry but I quit your truck is Indiana at I69 at Exit 19 by Subway Tim.”

The truck was found and taken to the company offices in Columbus, Ohio, where a 9-millimeter bullet casing was found inside the dashboard.

By September, Joyce Hawkins had been incarcerated on an unrelated charge of intimidation. On Sept. 9, she confessed she accidentally shot her ex-husband inside the truck. Over a period of three to four days, she burned his body. She claimed to have taken the truck to the Pendleton exit to clean out the cab.

After her confession, she wrote six letters that were intercepted by jail staffers. Three of the letters were written to "Dear Abby," the Rev. Billy Graham and a former minister. In the "Dear Abby" letter, Hawkins requested help, noting that “I know what I did, I will never get out.”

In her appeal, she sought to use newly discovered evidence. However, on Tuesday, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that Hawkins had not met legal requirements that would entitle her to a new trial.

— The Herald Bulletin

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