A 12 year-old Memphis girl has testified in court that her father — after first stabbing her mother in the neck and choking her to death — forced her to help him dismember her mother, Charlene Gaither.
“He was yelling at her and she said she was going to call police,” the girl said in her testimony. “He stabbed her in the neck … and choked her until she died. I just stood there. Then he put the knife to my neck and told me to help clean up the blood and put her body in the freezer.”
According to the Commercial Appeal, the father, James Hawkins, reportedly the boyfriend of her mother, took the young girl and her two brothers to one store for cleaning supplies and then took them to Kmart to purchase a circular saw; this was after leaving the mother at the home deceased. They later returned and this is when the young girl testified that her father forced to help cut off her mother’s head, hands and her feet. During her testimony Wednesday, the young girl stated her father said he would kill her if she did not do what he asked.
The incident reportedly happened Feb. 9 in the family’s Raleigh apartment. On Feb. 12th, Hawkins reported Gaither missing and later admitted dismembering her body after parts of Gaither’s body were found on U.S. 78 in DeSoto County two days later. Hawkins however denied killing her.
According to blogger Thaddeus Matthews, in 1999 Hawkins was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a string of crimes including robberies, assaults, and drug charges. Though James Hawkins was the live-in boyfriend at the time of Gaither’s murder, he was reportedly first her husband according to Matthews.
Currently Hawkins remains in jail on $2 million bond.
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