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article imageAlabama woman savagely beaten, allegedly by girlfriend's brother

By Brett Wilkins     Nov 27, 2012 in Crime
Mobile - Friends and family of a young Alabama woman who was brutally beaten, allegedly by her girlfriend's brother, on Thanksgiving claim she was attacked because the man did not approve of their lesbian relationship.
Alabama Live reports that Mobile police arrested 18-year-old Travis Hawkins Jr. and charged him with second-degree assault after he allegedly attacked Mallory Owens, 23, after Thanksgiving dinner at the Hawkins family home. Owens has been dating Ally Hawkins, Travis' sister, for about a year and according to those close to the victim the young man did not approve of the relationship.
"He never liked Ally and Mallory to begin with," Avery Godwin, Owens' sister, told Alabama Live. "Mallory would never do anything to hurt anyone."
Hawkins allegedly demonstrated his disapproval by beating Owens to within an inch of her life. The young woman suffered multiple skull fractures, crushed cheeks and brain bleeding. She was rushed to the University of South Alabama Medical Center, where she had reconstructive surgery facial surgery, including the insertion of metal plates under her eyes.
Godwin said this wasn't the first time that Hawkins had attacked Owens. She also said Hawkins contacted her after Thursday's assault and threatened "that he would finish what he started."
Godwin also said she was shocked by the second-degree assault charge against Hawkins, who was arrested three days after the savage assault.
"That charge shouldn't be there," she told Alabama Live. "He should've been charged with attempted murder."
But Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich says her office is still trying to determine a motive for the attack.
"Some people say the motive was a hate crime. We have not been able to confirm that at this point," Rich told Fox 10 News. "That is part of this ongoing investigation."
Rich added that "hate crime as defined by the state of Alabama does not cover gay or lesbian rights. So that would be a federal charge that would need to be brought against the defendant."
James Byrd, Hawkins' criminal defense attorney, told Fox 10 News that "there's a lot more to this story than meets the eye" and that the public hasn't heard all of the facts in the case. He did not elaborate further.
Byrd also said that his client and his family are living in fear of retaliatory attacks.
"With all of the social media that's out there... I know that the Hawkins' address has been put out and they're receiving death threats."
Owens was scheduled to be released from the hospital on Monday.
Alabama Live reports that Hawkins has a troubled family background. In January, police arrested his father, 40-year-old Travis Monroe Hawkins, after he allegedly shot Travis Jr. in the chest during an argument.
More about LGBT, Hate crime, Alabama, mallory owens, travis hawkins jr
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