Kansas Attorney Dennis Hawver has been disbarred due to “inexplicable incompetence!”
Hawver committed a number of blunders throughout the case, among them include;
- At trial, Hawver described his client a “professional drug dealer” and a “shooter of people,”
- Hawver argued at trial that his client would never have left a witness alive if he had shot the two women victims.
- Hawver did not investigate alibi witnesses and did not track his client’s cellphone to find his location at the time of the murders.
His explanation? “I had no idea that cellphones had GPS capabilities at that time,” he said. “Did you? I didn’t. If I had known it, I’d have been on it like a dog on a bone.”
- Hawver had never previously tried a capital murder case and had not tried a murder case in more than 20 years.
- He was unfamiliar with ABA guidelines for trying capital murder cases.
- He informed the jury his client had previously been convicted of voluntary manslaughter, even though prosecutors agreed to a stipulation that the client had a prior felony conviction without further details.
- He failed to seek dismissal of the capital charge after the Kansas Supreme Court struck down the death penalty scheme.
- Hawver had said he had no funds for a pretrial investigation and he did not call the indigent defense board to explore whether funding was available to support his representation.
- He also said he did not recall whether a board representative had called him with an offer to provide co-counsel, investigators, consultants and expert witnesses, but he does not contest that an offer of funding was made.
- During the sentencing phase of the trial, he said the killer should be executed.
During the arguments concerning attorney discipline, Hawver named Thomas Jefferson as his hero and says he wore the outfit because he had a constitutional right to represent the client “as directed, instructed and agreed” by the client, “no matter what the ABA guidelines have to say.”
Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Family Law Attorney and advises all potential clients that if your attorney dresses as a Founding Father for Court it is time for a new attorney.