Friday, 10 August 2012 13:57

Gary Hawkins Convicted of First Degree Murder

MEMPHIS, TN – On Friday, August 10, 2012, a Shelby County jury convicted Gary Hawkins, of first degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child neglect and of aggravated child neglect for the September 18th, 2008 death of eighteen-month-old Shamia Ivory.
Shamia’s mother called 911 late on September 17th, 2008 and reported the child had been vomiting and was unresponsive. Memphis Fire Department ambulance arrived and transported the child to LeBonheur Children’s Hospital where she died shortly after midnight on September 18th, 2008. The death investigation was conducted by the Memphis Police Department and the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s office ruled Shamia’s death a homicide due to multiple blunt force trauma.
Evidence at trial revealed that young Shamia sustained severe internal injuries and extensive internal bleeding and bruising to her abdominal area. Over half the child’s total blood volume was in her abdomen and chest cavity. The child’s mother told authorities that the child had been sick and she left Hawkins alone with the child at her home while she went to the store. When she returned the child was still vomiting and was unresponsive. After Shamia’s mother called 911, Hawkins fled the scene before paramedics arrived.
Hawkins was automatically sentenced to life in prison for the murder. Aggravated child neglect, a class “A” felony in this case, carries a sentence of fifteen (15) to sixty (60) years, with no possibility of parole. Hawkins will have a sentencing hearing at a later date for the aggravated child neglect conviction. Hawkins was also convicted of child abuse and neglect in January 1997. Hawkins was baby sitting a young child and broke the child’s leg.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Nichols, Chief Prosecutor and Assistant District Attorney Eric Christensen of the District Attorney’s Special Victim’s Prosecution Unit prosecuted the case in Division IX of Shelby County Criminal Court. Judge Mark Ward presided.