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Nursing home murder suspect says killing 'accomplished my life goal'

Posted: 8:02 AM, Feb 05, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-05 08:02:15-05
Nursing home murder suspect says killing "accomplished my life goal"

Wearing a recording device in the St. Lucie County Jail, the sister of William Hawkins asks point blank, “Did you put the pillow over his face?” Hawkins responded, “Yeah I did.”

Newly released court documents detailing this conversation taking place Jan. 9, four days after Hawkins is suspected of smothering 95-year-old Robert Morell at the Tiffany Hall Nursing Home and Rehab in Port St. Lucie.

In the nine-page arrest affidavit, it was revealed that Hawkins was romantically involved with Morell’s girlfriend, who told investigators she had an open relationship with Morell.

Hawkins was jailed originally not for the murder, but for burglary and grand theft charges.

Investigators say the day before Morell was killed, Hawkins had broken into the condominium where the girlfriend lived and woke her. She told police Hawkins suggested injecting insulin into Morell’s feeding tube and killing him. The girlfriend rejected the idea, and would later call the nursing home to warn them.

That night before the homicide, police believe Hawkins stole his girlfriend's Cadillac from the apartment. The stolen car was later found near Fort Pierce.

As for Hawkins, he was eventually apprehended a day after the killing, not far from where the stolen car was located, hiding in a shed outside his aunt’s home.

In the affidavit, Hawkins tells his sister he had “accomplished his life goal” with Morell’s death, and as for how he felt after killing him, he compared it to climbing Mount Everest and after you "finally made it to the top, how would you feel.”

As to why Hawkins allegedly committed the crime, his sister told investigators it was probably over money since they never got a large inheritance they had expected.

Hawkins also claimed Morell wrote a book about him that had made him upset, but there was no documentation to immediately back up that claim.