$50,000 bond for mother charged in deaths of her children

Judge Paul Burch set a $50,000 bond for Hope Hawkins Tuesday, the mother charged in the deaths of her four children.

A grand jury indicted Hawkins last week on charges of Homicide by Child Abuse, Unlawful Neglect toward a Child and Involuntary Manslaughter.

Her home burned on Depot Street in Hartsville in April, killing her four, young children.

This was the second time Hawkins was in court for a bond hearing.

"This young lady has never been out of the State of South Carolina as an adult. And we certainly asking the court to consider that she's not a flight risk. As to this issue of danger to the community, she has no prior record whatsoever," said Hawkins' attorney Tonya Copeland-Little.

Hawkins first appeared in court two weeks ago for a bond hearing, but Burch continued hearing to learn more about the investigation.

"I've given this a lot of thought. I've listened to everybody and I think everybody can live with this. She can't leave the State of South Carolina. She can not be alone or reside with anyone under the age of 18," said Burch.

WPDE NewsChannel 15 spoke to Hawkins Tuesday and she said she is ready to be released from jail so she can continue grieving the loss of her children.

"I'm ready to go home. I ain't even ready to go home. I don't even want to see nobody. I just want to see my kids grave and that's it. I just want to go see my kids. It's been hard for me, but I'm just ready to get on out, so I can go to their graves that's all," said Hawkins.

Hawkins added that she loved her children and they were her life.

"My kids meant the world to me. I ain't play about my kids. If you see me, you see my kids. That's point blank. I have my kids with me all the time," Hawkins added.

Senator Gerald Malloy is representing the fathers of the children. He didn't oppose or support bail for Hawkins.

" The family we have counseled with them on numerous occasions and they have no position on the issue of bond. They realize it's an ongoing investigation," said Senator Gerald Malloy.

Darlington County Sheriff's Office investigators and state police say Hawkins wasn't home when her home burned, but they didn't give any specifics as to where they say Hawkins was when the fire started.

They say she has told them different stories about where she was the day of the deadly fire.

Investigators say they have witnesses who saw her running from a neighborhood.

Hawkins' attorney says she was home and called 911 for help.

Hawkins is expected to post bond later Tuesday afternoon and be released from the Darlington County Detention Center.

A trial date for her case hasn't been set.