Trial Transcripts

July 30, 1979

Bennie Hawkins (CID), recalled

(Whereupon, BENNIE T. HAWKINS was recalled as a witness, and having been previously sworn, was examined and testified further as follows:)

C R O S S - E X A M I N A T I O N  4:01 p.m.

Q  Mr. Hawkins, just a couple of matters.  As I understand, it was on February 17th, 1970, that you went to the morgue at Womack Army Hospital; is that right?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  You did that at whose direction?
A  To the best of my recollection, sir, it would have been at Mr. Grebner's direction.
Q  And you eventually wrote a memorandum -- in fact, a sworn statement -- did you not, concerning what you did on that particular morning, 17 February, 1970.  Do you recall making such a witness statement?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  It was this statement of six pages in length which you then swore to on the last page.  Do you recall that statement?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  Did you read it before you signed it, Mr. Hawkins?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  Does it represent an accurate statement of the things you did on the morning of February 17th?
A  When I made the statement, sir, to the best of my knowledge, sir, that is what I did on the morning of the 17th.
Q  All right, I want to read to you the very first paragraph only of your statement and ask you if it sounds familiar to you -- if you recall making this statement.  I should state that this witness statement was given by you to Mr. Daryl J. Bennett, another criminal investigator; is that right?
A  Yes, sir.

Q  "I, Bennie T.  Hawkins, want to make the following statement under oath.  During the afternoon of 17 February, 1970, I proceeded to the morgue," and you used the abbreviation for Womack Army Hospital, "for the purpose of obtaining fingerprints, palmprints, and fingernail scrapings from Colette MacDonald and her two children."  Do you recall making that statement?

THE WITNESS:  Yes, sir.

Q  It says in there then that you were going to get the fingerprints, palmprints, and fingernail scrapings from all three of those persons, is that correct?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  Did you ever attempt to take the fingerprints of Kristen or Kimberly MacDonald?
A  No, sir; I did not.
Q  Why did you not do that if you said that was your purpose in going there or part of your purpose in going there?
A  If I recall correctly, sir, I was instructed that it was not necessary -- for me to only get the fingerprints and palmprints of Mrs. MacDonald.
Q  I see.  Do you recall who suggested to you that it was not necessary for you to get the MacDonald children's fingerprints?
A  It would probably have been Mr. Medlin, sir.
Q  Mr. --
A  (Interposing) Medlin.
Q  That is Hilyard -- H. O. Medlin -- from the Crime Lab at Fort Gordon?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  Did he explain to you or say anything as to why he thought it wasn't necessary to get the prints of Kristen and Kimberly MacDonald?
A  Not that I recall; no, sir.
Q  Did it strike you as unusual that somebody who was found at the crime scene dead would not be fingerprinted as part of the investigation?
A  I did not question it, sir.  I did what I was told to do.
Q  I appreciate that, but I only wanted your judgment.  You were, at that time, back in 1970, you were a Warrant Officer in the CID?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  And I only wanted your experience and the benefit of your thinking.  Did you not consider it unusual that Medlin said to you that it wasn't necessary to get the prints of two people who were found dead at the crime scene -- Kristen and Kimberly MacDonald?

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, we would OBJECT to this.


MR. SEGAL:  I have nothing further, Mr. Hawkins.  Thank you very much.

THE COURT:  Can he go to Hawaii now?

MR. BLACKBURN:  Yes, sir.

THE COURT:  All right, have a good trip.
Webmaster note: 
The original stenographer's misspelling of Graebner was corrected to Grebner in this transcript.