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Family says Thanksgiving beating of lesbian was a ‘hate crime’

Monday, November 26, 2012
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MOBILE, Ala. — An Alabama man has been charged with second-degree assault for brutally beating a woman because she is in a relationship with his sister and he does not approve.

Mallory Owens
Image via: WKRG-TV

Travis Hawkins Jr.

Travis Hawkins, Jr., 18, was booked into Mobile, Ala., jail on Sunday after turning himself in to authorities for the Thanksgiving Day assault on 23-year-old Mallory Owens. Hawkins bonded out the same day.

Owens, who suffered multiple skull fractures and crushed bones, said says she was beat on Thanksgiving while at her girlfriend’s family’s house for dinner. Avery Godwin, Owens’s sister, said Owens was blindsided just before she left the Mobile home of the Hawkins family, reported AL.com.

Now, Owens’ family members and supporter are seeking justice, and said charges should be upgraded to attempted murder.

Owens’ family is calling the assault a hate crime and said they cannot believe that Hawkins is walking free, reported WKRG-TV.

Owens is recovering from her injuries at USA Medical Center in Mobile — her face was badly beaten, her nose was broken, and she had to have reconstructive surgery on her face.

Godwin said she has heard from Hawkins only once since the attack, when she said he called and threatened her. The threats included a promise “that he would finish what he started last night (the night after the attack) with Mallory.”

Travis Hawkins, Sr., the suspect’s father, said the family has hired an attorney.

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