Men involved in Nicholas Hawkins’ murder plead guilty on behalf of slain teen’s family

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JASPER, Ala. (WIAT) — Three years after 19-year-old Nicholas Hawkins was found dead in the woods in Walker County, a tragic chapter for his family and the men involved in his death has come to a close.

Over the weekend, Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair was preparing for the trial against Joshua Reese, who was charged with shooting Hawkins during a drug-fueled fight. However, a call came from an unusual place.

“Over the weekend, the (Hawkins) family called and asked how we could end this,” Adair told CBS 42.

Within a couple of days, Adair’s office was able to work out a plea deal with Reese, 25, who pleaded guilty to Hawkins’ murder Monday and was sentenced to 30 years in jail. Reese reportedly was in a relationship with both Hawkins and his mother.

Today, Cory Conner, 32, and Danny Jarvis, 26, both pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and abuse of a corpse, each receiving a 15-year prison sentence. Adair said Conner and Reese had been cooperating with the state in the case, pointing detectives to where Hawkins was wrapped in a blanket and hidden in the woods somewhere in Quinton.

Several other people had been previously charged in the case, but all of their cases had either been dismissed or they received minimal prison time after cooperating in giving information on Reese.

Adair said the guilty pleas mark the end to a tragic case for Hawkins and his family.

“Any time a family goes through this, you feel for them and you hurt for them,” Adair said. “They have been through a lot. At least from the legal part, they can get some closure.”

Hawkins knew Reese, Conner and Jarvis, Adair said, and the three were hanging out and doing drugs, ranging from heroin to methamphetamine, in February 2016. He said that during their time together, Reese and Hawkins got into an argument and he shot him.

“When you mix heavy drugs, a lot of things can happen that are not good,” Adair said.

Adair said Conner and Jarvis helped Reese hide Hawkins’ body. He was missing for several days.

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