Andrew Hawes gets life without parole

Andrew Hawes this morning (Friday, May 7) received a sentence of life
without parole for the murder of his older brother in late October 2008.


by Eric Hagen
Staff writer

Andrew Hawes this morning (Friday, May 7) received a sentence of life without parole for the murder of his older brother in late October 2008.

Andrew Hawes

A jury convicted 38-year-old Andrew Hawes May 3 on a charge of premeditated aiding and abetting first-degree murder in the death of Edwin Hawes in Andover.

Avery, the young daughter of Edwin Hawes wrote a letter that her mother read. She alluded to a July 19, 2008 incident in which Andrew Hawes ran his car into Edwin Hawes’ vehicle in which she was a passenger. This incident was discussed during the trial.

Avery said in the letter when her uncle Andrew Hawes smashed his car into theirs, she was crying and scared.

She asked that her uncle get more than 20 years in prison.

“I miss doing fun things with my dad,” the letter concluded.

When asked by Anoka County District Court Judge Sharon Hall if he would like to say anything, Andrew Hawes declined.

Andrew Hawes became the second sibling of the murdered Edwin Hawes to be sentenced to life in prison without parole. His 45-year-old sister Elizabeth Hawes was sentenced in January.

According to statements by both the prosecutors and defense attorneys, accusations of Edwin Hawes embezzling money from a family lawn care business and their grandmother led to strained family ties.

Edwin Hawes was last seen alive leaving the Lifetime Fitness in Coon Rapids after 6 p.m. Oct. 29, 2008.

During her opening and closing statements, defense attorney Jennifer Pradt stated Andrew Hawes’ intention when he went to his older brother’s Andover home on South Coon Creek Drive was to repossess a Volkswagen Passat that belonged to Andrew Hawes’ lawn care business.

Pradt said Elizabeth Hawes’ husband Daniel Romig, 47, shot the crossbow and beat Edwin Hawes with his fists. She also pointed to the lack of fingerprint evidence against Andrew Hawes.

Pradt said Andrew Hawes panicked and when he was pulling the Passat out of the Andover driveway, he accidently ran over Edwin Hawes.

Prosecutor Deidre Aanstad said the blood stain in the driveway was close to the garage door, so there was not enough room to accidently run over somebody. Edwin Hawes’ blood was also found on the steering wheel, door and side door of the Passat that Andrew Hawes drove. A bloody hand sledge was found in the trunk.

Blood was also found at Andrew Hawes’ lawn service office, Aanstad said.

When Edwin Hawes’ body was being burned in a fire pit on Dorniden’s farm 200 miles away in Cottonwood County, the local sheriff found Andrew Hawes standing by the fire pit.

After regrouping and coming back, Cottonwood County authorities spotted what appeared to be a body in the fire pit, Aanstad said.

According to the criminal complaint, Andrew Hawes was gone and Elizabeth Hawes was standing by the fire. When asked about what was in the fire, she stated, “That’s not my brother.”

While Elizabeth Hawes was being detained, Dorniden drove up in a pick-up truck that had blood in the bed, on the bumper and around the license plate, the complaint states.

Dorniden was arrested. Andrew Hawes was located in the area and also arrested.

During the sentencing hearing, Pradt said with the conviction handed down, life without parole is the mandatory sentence.

“It was a privilege to represent Mr. Hawes in what was a difficult situation,” she said. “We are all more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

According to Hall, life without parole was a fitting sentence considering the crime.

She said when a family member is not invited to Thanksgiving or Christmas gatherings, this can upset them, but they don’t shoot somebody in the back, run over them with a car, haul their body across highways for hundreds of miles, throw them into a fire pit, thrown an accelerant on them and burn their body to the point that they do not recognize a human being.

“This is such a heinous crime and a senseless crime,” Hall said. “It was a crime over money, a crime over betrayal.”

Eric Hagen is at

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