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Defense attorney says discovery of body could impact client’s conviction

Recently, the Kings County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that remains found in a field east of Stratford were in fact the remains of Debbie Hawk, who went missing in June 2006.

Her husband, Dave Hawk, was charged with her murder on June 13, 2008, was convicted largely on the basis of circumstantial evidence on August 28, 2009, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The conviction was upheld by the court of appeals in 2014.

The discovery of Debbie Hawk’s body, however, could “change everything” in Dave Hawk’s conviction, according to Dave Hawk’s attorney Mark Coleman, a partner at the Law Offices of Nuttall & Coleman.

“From what I know so far, it gives us a basis for a motion for a new trial,” Coleman recently told ABC 30. Coleman has appealed Dave Hawk’s conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the case has not been able to progress any further.

But now that a body’s been found, forensics experts told ABC 30’s Corin Hoggard that an examination could turn up hairs, fingerprints, or even DNA, which would give a stronger connection to the killer than the financial documents showing Dave Hawk stole from his kids’ trust funds. The prevailing theory for Dave Hawk’s motive was that Dave Hawk killed Debbie Hawk after she found out her ex-husband was embezzling money from their children’s trust funds.

“We’re hopeful that a forensic examination will turn up evidence that will be helpful to proving Dave did not do this, that will point to somebody else,” Coleman said.

Sources: Remains of Debbie Hawk identified using dental records, sheriff says (ABC 30); Discovery of Debbie Hawk’s body could change everything in Dave Hawk’s murder conviction (ABC 30)

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