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Published: Wednesday, 8/8/2007

Resident is guilty of beating death in South Toledo care center


Nearly a year and a half after he beat his roommate with a towel bar in a South Toledo health-care center, Sharon John Hawkins was found both responsible for the crime and incompetent to ever face the resulting criminal charges in court.

Judge Gary Cook ruled in Lucas County Common Pleas Court that Hawkins was incompetent and not restorable. He then ordered him to the Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare System, Columbus Campus, where he will continue to receive treatment.

The Toledo man was found responsible for the beating death of Norbert Konwin, 77, who died two weeks after he was attacked in March, 2006, by Hawkins, 63, in the room they shared at Foundation Park Care Center, 1621 South Byrne Rd.

Two months after the attack, Judge Cook ruled Hawkins was not competent to stand trial and ordered him into treatment.

Yesterday, the judge said that in making his decision, he considered that time in treatment, psychological reports, and testimony from a psychologist who evaluated Hawkins.

Mr. Hawkins is a mentally ill person subject to hospitalization by court order, he said. Therefore, the safest place for Mr. Hawkins is in Twin Valley Behavioral Health Center, Columbus Campus.

Mr. Konwin s family was not present for the hearing.

Assistant County Prosecutor Jevne Meader called the case tragic, adding that the victim always stayed a priority in the case.

He said that because of Hawkins 47-year history of mental illness, the health-care center was the safest place for him to be.

Hawkins attorney, Stevin Groth, said his client s descent into mental illness began slowly and without any specific cause.

He said the prosecution and the defense agreed that Hawkins was not capable of understanding what had occurred.

In his initial evaluation with doctors, Hawkins was diagnosed as suffering from a mental disorder, namely dementia.

Mr. Groth said that at Twin Valley Behavioral Health Center, his client will receive the services he requires.

They provide adequate services for him while providing public safety, he said, adding that over time, Hawkins mind has progressively deteriorated.

Yesterday, nurses from the Foundation Park Care Center testified about the moments after Mr. Konwin was beaten. Specifically, they said that Hawkins told them he didn t like it that Mr. Konwin was in his bed.

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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