Re: Nathan and Justin Bawcum, twin boys who killed their father



JonesieCat wrote:

"Cori" <cmashieldscapting@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
news:c972ca10-9f61-4118-a3b3-edacf4802b30@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Identical twins from North Carolina who, at age 11, were guilty of
shooting their father to death and wounding their mother and sister.
I was able to learn they were sentenced to some school designed to
rehabilitate violent kids and were probably released on or before
turning 18, as their names appear on the Distinguished list in the
senior class at a public high school. Does anyone have further
details? How long they were held, why they did it, whether they have
been in any trouble since?

Cori

Can't believe I don't recall this case at all. 7 years ago? I remember two
other cases of brothers killing their father, but not this one. When I
googled, the only results were this post of yours, and an archived article
requiring registration. Sounds like an interesting case. Hope someone posts
more.

Aug 2, 1999
The Charlotte Observer
Twins, 11, plead responsible in killing father in rampage
by Anna Griffin

HENDERSON, N.C.
Twin 11-year-old boys accused of the premeditated murder of their
father pleaded to lesser charges Monday, bringing an end - but not
quite an explanation - to one of the most shocking juvenile cases in
North Carolina's history.

The boys known in court as Twin J and Twin N both faced juvenile
counts of first-degree murder in the April 1 killing of their father,
William Bawcum, 45.

The twins' trial was to begin Monday, but instead District Attorney
David Waters announced that the boys had agreed to plead responsible
for the attack. The terms "guilty" and "innocent" aren't used in
juvenile court.

Twin J accepted charges of involuntary manslaughter and assault in the
11-minute hearing.

Twin N, who did all the shooting in the rampage that killed his father
and wounded his mother and sister, pleaded responsible to
second-degree murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon
inflicting serious injury.

Sentencing was postponed 60 days, time for psychiatrists to interview
the boys. Because of the need for confidentiality in juvenile matters,
the judge plans to close that part of the trial.

The maximum penalty for either child is imprisonment in a state
juvenile center until he turns 18. After that, their records can be
expunged.

"There is no evidence they intended to shoot up the neighborhood.
There is no evidence they intended to assassinate anyone . . . We have
no evidence there was a plan afoot for something like this," Waters
said.

"Given everything that we know, these charges seem completely
appropriate."

In announcing the pleas, which were accepted by Vance County District
Court Judge H. Weldon Lloyd, Waters offered new detail into the
shootings.

He and investigators say the night began uneventfully in the Bawcums'
two-story log house, off a winding two-lane road near Kittrell, a
rural town 40 miles north of Raleigh, N.C.

William Bawcum got home from his job as a service technician with
Sprint, the family ate dinner, then the boys went up to their room.

Just after 9 p.m., Deborah Bawcum went upstairs to take a shower and
heard whispers from the twin's bedroom. Worrying they were up to
something _ "Maybe you could call it motherly intuition," Waters said
_ she went in after her shower to check on them.

When she sat on one of the beds, she felt something hard: William
Bawcum's .223-caliber assault rifle was hidden under a bedspread.

Deborah Bawcum grabbed the gun, but Twin J reached for it too. They
struggled for a few seconds, then Twin N shot at his mother twice with
a different gun _ a .38-caliber pistol she kept, usually hidden in a
high place, for protection.

Hearing the gunshot, William Bawcum ran upstairs. Twin N shot him
twice. He shot his sister, 16-year-old Robin Bawcum, as she ran to
phone 911.

Moments later, Vance County dispatchers got a panicked call. The
voice, its gender almost indistinguishable, came from a shrieking
child:

"My daddy's been shot, my mama's been shot," one of the boys yelled.
"They're all dead!"

When Sheriff Thomas Breedlove arrived at the house, he found Robin
Bawcum slumped in a porch swing, blood covering her UNC volleyball
T-shirt. Her father was sprawled on the floor of the master bedroom.

Deborah Bawcum sat on the floor of the boys' room, whispering
soothingly to Twin J. Twin N was downstairs pacing.

When they buried Bill Bawcum four months ago, his wife and daughter
both looked exhausted and weak. Weeping and clutching a yellow stuffed
lamb to her chest, the girl had to be wheeled into her father's
funeral because of her injuries.

On Monday, both looked strong and confident _ Robin Bawcum wore a
sky-blue dress and navy nail polish. Deborah Bawcum brought her own
lawyer to court to watch over family interests. Neither had anything
to say publicly. As attorneys from both sides smoothed out the final
plea agreement, mother and child chewed gum and whispered to each
other.

Other family members prayed and wiped away tears. The two women stayed
composed and smiled at each other occasionally.

The last time they appeared in court, the twins were dressed alike and
wore the same close-cropped haircut.

On Monday, Twin J's hair was shaped in a crew cut, and he wore a green
oversized T-shirt and jeans. Twin N wore a bowl cut and a blue T-shirt
with jeans.

Both boys have been in state custody since the shootings. Although
they didn't appear to interact with their mother or sister during the
hearing, they were given time alone with family afterward.

Neither boy spoke at the hearing, and both stared somberly ahead as
Waters described the shootings and their attorneys responded. "This is
appropriate," said Harvey Jackson, Twin J's attorney.

"This is an acceptable end, given the circumstances," said Michael
Rogers, Twin N's lawyer.

But an end doesn't necessarily mean closure.

After the hearing, Waters struggled to explain what drove the boys to
take their parents' guns _ or the small amount of ammunition
investigators later found hidden in their room.

There was no evidence that the boys were abused, Waters said. Both had
been trained to use guns responsibly and owned .22-caliber rifles that
were kept locked up.

Vance County Sheriff Thomas Breedlove and other investigators have
suggested that the twins were angry with their parents because they
had gotten in trouble at school for bullying another student to give
up a yo-yo. William Bawcum, who often took his children on outdoor
adventures and whose camouflage-painted hunting truck still sits in
the family driveway, had barred the boys from a planned fishing trip
as punishment.

Days after the shooting, Waters and Breedlove both said there was
evidence that the twins had been planning something.

But after the pleadings Monday, Waters said he doesn't believe the
shootings were premeditated. Nor should they be lumped in with other
recent acts of youth violence such as the massacre at Columbine High
School in Colorado, he said.

The district attorney also said he wouldn't call the shootings an
accident.

"In this job, I see cases often of 16-year-olds who disobey their
parents and drive 100 miles an hour and crash or drive drunk and die
from it. This is similar to that, in my mind," he said.

"This was a situation in which children disobeyed their parents, this
time about guns. The result was tragic consequences."

***

Twins sent to reformatory for killing father, wounding mother, sister

Twin brothers were sentenced during a closed juvenile hearing on their
12th birthday to spend up to six years in a state reformatory for
killing their father and wounding their mother and sister earlier this
year.

District Attorney David Waters said after the Bawcum twins were
sentenced Tuesday that the length of their confinement will depend on
their rehabilitation, which professionals will evaluate.

"From a personal point of view, we believe that justice was
accomplished in the case," Waters said.

The boys, known as Twin N and Twin J, can be confined at a state
training school until they turn 18 on Nov. 23, 2005. Their records
then will be wiped clean. Under North Carolina law, children under age
13 cannot be charged as adults.

The twins shot their mother, Deborah Bawcum, 44, in the arm at the
family's Kittrell home April 1 after she found a .223-caliber assault
rifle under some bedcovers in their bedroom.

Their father, William Harvey Bawcum, 45, heard the gunshots and ran
upstairs, where he was fatally shot in the face and neck.

The twins' 16-year-old sister, Robin, was shot in the collarbone by
one of the twins from the top of the stairs as she ran from her
downstairs bedroom and tried to call 911. She staggered outside and
collapsed bleeding in the porch swing.

Deborah and Robin Bawcum attended the twins' sentencing hearing.

Originally charged with first-degree murder, the boys avoided a public
trial by admitting responsibility and were found delinquent Aug. 2.
They have been in detention centers since the shootings.

The sentencing hearing began Monday, when family and friends brought
food, gifts and cake to celebrate the twins' birthday Tuesday. They
spent time playing cards, eating fried chicken and visiting with
family members during breaks in their sentencing hearing.
.



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