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Wednesday, 23 May 2018 19:47

Judge rules Hawkins eligible for pretrial release in Salmon murder

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A Halifax County Superior Court judge today ruled Gene Arnold “Root Root” Hawkins Jr. is eligible for pretrial release after documents filed in court show he is competent to stand trial in the 2006 murder of Roanoke Rapids businessman Shelby Salmon.

Judge Alma Hinton ordered a secured $20,000 bond for Hawkins and that he be detained under electronic house arrest with no out, meaning he can only attend to medical needs and court time.

Hawkins will remain at Central Regional Hospital in Butner until the court determines an involuntary commitment order is rescinded.

Assistant District Attorney Keith Werner asked the court that 48-hours notice be given when Hawkins has to go out for medical or court reasons.

If the involuntary commitment order is rescinded, Hawkins will be released to the custody of his father.

Today’s ruling came after a hearing in January where the court confirmed it received three reports entered as evidence that Hawkins is now eligible to stand trial in the case. The reports were not discussed in January or during today proceedings.

Prior to the entering of the new documents, Hawkins had been found mentally incompetent to stand trial in April of 2013.

That ruling came after three medical experts testified Hawkins suffers from an organic brain dysfunction brought on by parental abuse, a drug overdose and a car wreck in which he was ejected from the vehicle as well as other factors.

Hawkins was arrested in the Salmon murder in 2009.

Salmon, who ran an investment company giving loans to people, was murdered at his Roanoke Avenue business and died from a close range gunshot wound to the head.

Hawkins’ father, Eugene Hawkins Sr. said following the proceedings, “We’re pleased with it. He’s been not guilty all along, he’s just been held in the system. He’s wanted to be found not guilty of all of this. He couldn’t have done this.”

Hawkins’ uncle, Haywood Hawkins, said, “Our sympathy goes out to Shelby’s family. He was a fine fellow, we all personally knew him and we just hate that little Gene got carelessly accused.”


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