News (USA)

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

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

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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