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Beaumont man pleads guilty to murdering 3 family members, shooting girlfriend

BEAUMONT —Joe Frederick Hawkins of Beaumont pleaded guilty to the first degree felony offense of murder and the first degree felony offense of aggravated assault in the 252nd District Court, Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wortham announced today.

According to offense reports, on March 16, 2014 Beaumont Police responded to gun shots fired at an address on Fourth Street. When police arrived on scene they determined that 4 victims had been shot, two were alive and two were already deceased.

Hawkins had an altercation with all four victims, according to statements from witnesses. Hawkins then produced a handgun and began firing at all victims. He struck his first victim, his sister, in the face. He then turned and fired at his brother striking him several times in the torso. He shot a single round in the head of his oldest brother. After shooting his three family members, he chased down and shot his girlfriend several times. His girlfriend was the only survivor of the attack

“This was a horrible tragedy for the Hawkins’ family,” Assistant District Attorney Rachel Grove said. “Nothing will bring back Mrs. Hawkins’ children, but justice requires that Mr. Hawkins be held responsible for what he did no matter who the victims were. We cannot stand by and allow this type of tragedy to occur in our community with no consequences.”

The defendant initially faced charges of capital murder, but the State abandoned the death penalty because the defendant was found to be intellectually disabled.