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Alabama

Victim of Thanksgiving Day attack says beating was not a hate crime

Now recovering at home of her attacker's parents
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

MOBILE, Ala. — An Alabama woman who was allegedly beaten by her girlfriend’s brother on Thanksgiving Day, says the attack was not a hate crime, and is now recovering at the home of her attacker’s parents where the assault occurred just days ago.

Mallory Owens, 23, suffered multiple skull fractures and crushed bones during the beating while at her girlfriend’s family’s house for dinner.

Mallory Owens, photographed at the University of South Alabama Medical Center following the Nov. 22 attack.

Travis Hawkins, Jr., 18, was booked into Mobile, Ala., jail on Sunday and charged with second degree assault, and was released a short time later.

Owens’ family members called the assault an anti-gay hate crime, but Mallory told WKRG-TV that her sexual orientation was not the reason for the attack.

“A lot of things have happened between us, but it doesn’t make me hate her brother,” said Owens. “I don’t hate her family at all, or anybody for that matter.”

Her girlfriend Ally Hawkins is by her side. She says her brother’s actions are not justified, but he had his own reasons for the attack. They are reasons that will be released when the time is right.

“It’s not a hate crime at all,” said Ally Hawkins. “We both know the reason why this happened, and it doesn’t make any excuses for him, I’m not defending him at all. I know why he was angry, and that will come out.”

Peter Burns, an attorney for the Hawkins family, said Owens is recovering at the Hawkins home and, despite the confrontation, insisted that the family had no issue with Owens’ relationship with their daughter, reported AL.com.

Travis Hawkins Jr.

Burns said the family hadn’t noticed any “hard words” or seen conflict between Travis Hawkins Jr. and Owens before the attack, which sent her to the University of South Alabama Medical Center, where she had to have metal plates put in her cheeks. The extent of her injuries has made seeing a plastic surgeon necessary.

Meanwhile, the parents say their son is scared and upset about his actions.

“He’s really broken up, he’s realized — I think at this point — the gravity of what he’s done,” Travis Hawkins Sr. said.

James Byrd, attorney for Travis Hawkins Jr., said his client is now in hiding, after death threats left him fearing for his life.

Avery Godwin, Owens’ sister, said the attack wasn’t the first confrontation between Owens and Travis Hawkins Jr. She said he hit Owens on at least one other occasion.

Owens, who has not yet indicated what motivated Hawkins to attack her, will be back at USAMC on Thursday to consult with a plastic surgeon about her injuries.

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44 more reader comments:

  1. What is wrong with people

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:20pm
  2. what is so broken in a person to beat another human being?

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:23pm
  3. That is hate. This asshole needs a good old fashioned ass beating. What kind of low life beats a woman? I’m sorry she got beaten, but someone needs to serve up some southern justice on his wimpy ass punk.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:25pm
  4. I’m not buying this that it was not a hate crime.
    It is not the first time he has attacked her.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:25pm
  5. Hate crime attempted murder

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:30pm
  6. This just does not make sense!.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:32pm
  7. “Meanwhile, the parents say their son is scared and upset about his actions.

    “‘He’s really broken up, he’s realized — I think at this point — the gravity of what he’s done,’ Travis Hawkins Sr. said.”

    0_o It only took beating someone FUBAR, and the 18-year-old perp now understands guilt? Not too bright at all

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:36pm
  8. One word explanation of why none of it makes sense: Alabama.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:39pm
  9. the gay bashing dude’s family is conning her into backing down

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:43pm
  10. This girl needs help in understanding that she is being abused and since this isn’t the first time how many more times will it take before she dies

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:44pm
  11. prayers go out to her n her family, may she see justice done

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:46pm
  12. They say this was not a hate crime. What do you call it when a Guy beats a girl’s face so badly that she needs her face reconstruction. ? Whatever the reason this is a hate crime

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 11:10pm
  13. I am very confused. He has hit her before, she goes to his house knowing his violent behavior towards her, he beats her so severely that she needs metal plates in her face, his family makes excuses for his behavior, including her girlfriend, and she decides to recoop in the same house where the beating took place knowing that he is out of jail. There are so many things wrong here.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 11:21pm
  14. Very strange. Something is wrong with this girl. Why would she be recovering at the home where she was attacked and not with her own family?

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 11:35pm
  15. I’m with Mark – Alabama – Stupid is as stupid does….I wouldn’t be surprised if Owens knows something about the brother that would make the family upset. It’s bad enough to have a lesbian for a daughter in Ala, but a gay son, well….but that’s just my suspicion.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 11:56pm
  16. Dear John Petrozino who took the words right out of my comment…..stupid is as stupid does!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 12:15am
  17. Well it wasn’t a LOVE Crime

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 12:32am
  18. John Petrozino Jr I think you can read minds! The boy clearly has some issues. Not a hate crime? Crap!He hates her courage for being out. It will be difficult for these two girls to continue a healthy relation after this coward made his move. My best wishes to them both. Her family has my respect for not backing down. His family need to come to terms that he attacked her because he could and that is bad enough. Long term gaol will help him to get in touch with his feminine side.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:01am
  19. Is it possible she had no other place to go to recuperate? How is her relations with her own family? For many gay and lesbian people, their family disowns them when they come out. This may be a case where she had no other place to go.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 3:53am
  20. I’m a lesbian & I’ve been following this tragic story however, I’m finding it difficult to maintain my sympathy toward her since she is staying with the attacker’s family while she recovers. I certainly hope her mother is right & this is poor judgement due to her head injuries.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 5:00am
  21. Johnny, of course nobody knows anyone’s personal history for sure but her mother has been her most outspoken advocate since the attack & is personally responsible for all of the attention that this has gotten.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 5:01am
  22. He should be charged with attempted murder – needing plates in your face means someone tried to kill you, that’s not just assault. Someone needs to get that woman a mental health professional, she is being abused, maybe she did wrong to her girlfriend so that’s why he was angry but it is never okay to hit a woman – he is a piece of garbage and I’m disgusted with his sister for backing him up when her girlfriend was beaten so badly. Get out of that relationship now before you get killed – especially seeing as it sounds like nobody in that family budged to stop him…

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 5:25am
  23. This was a hate crime and she was beaten so bad that it messed up her brain and now she wants to turn the other cheek by staying with the attackers family. One word – Stupid

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6:49am
  24. Regardless of whether or not it can be considered a hate crime, no one beats another person this badly without hate in their heart.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:12am
  25. Whether he did it based on her sexual orientation or not, a crime is a crime. This little punk need to have his punishment fit his crime.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:24am
  26. First of all, I am tired of this ‘it’s not okay to hit women’ crap. It’s not okay to hit anyone. Period. This constant treating of women as the weaker and fairer sex with that comment promotes a sexist agenda that that enforces attitudes where women should be docile to men, because men could beat them. Not too mention that it reinforces power structures that make men think they need to ‘protect’ women, which can give a sense of entitlement to men over women.

    Not to mention that it also promotes the opposite idea, that violence against other men is alright.

    This might be unpopular to say, because of what happened to her. And of course there are many patriarchal power structures at play here that allowed for this young man to feel that he was entitled to do this. Violence against women, by men, is a huge problem, and we need to all work together to fix it. But reinforcing the patriarchal framework that holds it all up is not the way to do it.

    Second, to everyone saying she need help, that very well may be the case. In fact, I won’t deny that it’s true. But to cast judgement on her because she isn’t taking it is bull shit. She’s not there yet, she’s not ready to ask, and she’s not ready to be in the lime light because of this. None of us were there, none of us have the right to tell her what she needs and doesn’t need.

    What she needs right now is to heal and get better, she has the right to do that where she wants – and we don’t know her whole story, or the whole situation so it’s not our place to tell her what she should or shouldn’t do.

    Neither of them condoned what was done to her by her brother, they just stated it wasn’t actually motivated by her sexuality. My heart goes out to her, and I hope that she will be okay.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:45am
  27. Not to mention, that I hope that he gets the help that he needs. These are the actions of a very angry young man, and this sort of anger happens from disregulated emotional patterns, that are not neurotypical. If he doesn’t get help this sort of thing could happen again to someone else quite easily. He is not mentally well, and although I do not think this excuses his actions, it does not mean he does not need help. Just throwing him in jail to rot will not solve the problem, it only will compound it.

    This entire situation is one mess on top of another.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:53am
  28. so Sad regardless of the reason. It is still a crime and hopefully these pictures will be used.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:59am
  29. Well, it wasn’t no damn Love Crime!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 9:57am
  30. you dont destroy the bones under someone’s eyes for no reason

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:08pm
  31. “”He’s really broken up,” yeah sure he is. People like him should be put out of their misery.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:35pm
  32. “”He’s really broken up,” yeah sure he is. People like him should be put out of their misery

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:35pm
  33. Then what the hell does she call it, an accident?

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:39pm
  34. ive been reading alot about it not being a hate crime, but Im on a couple of pages where her family writes in here and there with updates. It is an abusive mentality she has right now because im pretty sure she is scared of him. She has a very messed up face and brain right now from the beating. Lets not jump to conclusions!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:41pm
  35. It is quite clear that the family is munipulating the victim into saying that it was not a hate crime. And if there was another reason for this heinous attack (which is still no excuse) why not just come out and say it. And why the hell is she even at the families’ house after this attack? I smell BULLSHIT!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:44pm
  36. If he’s hit her before, fucked her up really badly this time, and it out of jail, who’s to say that he won’t kill her? He knows where she is

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:47pm
  37. A hate crime by another name is still a hate crime.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:48pm
  38. Ok, people. For real. Just because a lesbian was beat up (and almost killed), does NOT mean this was a hate crime (based on sexual orientation). From the way this sounded more like maybe this woman cheated on her girlfriend? People, just because gay people were victims of a crime does NOT mean it has to be due to sexual orientation. This sounds fishy and all in total, but it sounds like a domestic issue, not a simple hate crime.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:48pm
  39. And yes, throw the book at this guy. What he did was horrible, whatever the reason he attacked her. Disgusting human being.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:49pm
  40. Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:51pm
  41. This is some bullshit smfh this should be attempt murder

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:08pm
  42. What da hell u call it then friendship? Anything is possible. As a gay handsome chick, strangers assume im gay anyway by my haircut or how i dress. Sometimes people can tell or assume that ur gay n try to mess with u. It has happen to me hundreds of times. I believe this couldve been the case. The guy mustve been miserable around the holidays cause he didnt have a girlfriend to share it with n seen a woman that wasnt into him n he exploded. The dude is pathetic n obviously abusive toward women espicially women he assume is gay. Insecure men like this sickens me n makes me even more proud to be gay.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:16pm
  43. Just because something horrible happens to belong to a “Protected Minority Group” doesn’t make it an AUTOMATIC hate crime. Scum-bags do all sorts of horrible things all the time without putting race, gender, or sexual orientation into the risk… They do horrible things because they’re horribly damaged people, more often than not.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:28pm
  44. Just because something horrible happens to belong to a “Protected Minority Group” doesn’t make it an AUTOMATIC hate crime. Scum-bags do all sorts of horrible things all the time without putting race, gender, or sexual orientation into the risk… They do horrible things because they’re horribly damaged people, more often than not.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:28pm