Robert Hawkins, who killed eight people and himself this month at an Omaha shopping mail, was thrown out of drug treatment in the months before and after he turned 18, reports the Omaha World-Herald. He regularly smoked marijuana and refused to take psychiatric medication; he called his state caseworker a curse word and said he was sick of “all this court stuff,” and his father said he could do no more to help his son.
Sixteen months before the mall shootings, Hawkins’ caseworker, father, drug counselor. and a juvenile court judge agreed it was time for Hawkins to face his choices and their consequences as an adult, so he was released from court jurisdiction nine months before he turned 19. More than 400 pages of court exhibits and hearing transcripts – most made public yesterday –shed light on Hawkins’ psychiatric troubles and his defiant attempts to get out of the court’s grip in 2006. He tried to commit suicide at least four times. Documents listed Hawkins’ main diagnoses as major depressive disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Also listed were oppositional defiant disorder–a persistent pattern of defying authority–and drug and alcohol abuse. His father wrote: “I cannot continue like this. I love my son, but he will not believe or even listen to anything I try to tell him. “He wants to be released and treated as an adult. I don’t think this is in his best interest, but I cannot make decisions for him, particularly when he will not follow instructions.”