MU alumna Jennifer Wilson killed in South Carolina

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 | 5:33 p.m. CDT; updated 5:41 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 30, 2011

COLUMBIA — A young professor who received her doctorate from MU was killed Sunday morning in South Carolina.

Jennifer Wilson, 36, taught at the University of South Carolina, after leaving Missouri in 2005.


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Hank Hawes, 37, was charged with murder. According to an incident report filed by the Columbia, S.C., police department, he was identified by a neighbor as the victim's boyfriend.

South Carolina news reports quoted colleagues and students of Wilson’s as saying she was trying to end the relationship and was concerned about his aggression.

The neighbor who reported the incident echoed this description, advising police that Hawes had previously attempted to intimidate him with firearms “with possible silencing devices on them.”

Hawes was detained Sunday at a South Carolina hospital after a failed suicide attempt. Hawes is currently being detained in a county detention center, where he awaits a hearing with a circuit court judge to hear the charges against him.

Wilson was found at about 11:30 a.m. after police made two visits to her residence.

According to the Columbia, S.C., police records, Wilson’s neighbor reported a disturbance at approximately 2:26 a.m. Sunday.

The neighbor said he heard “furniture banging around and the victim screaming the words, ‘No! No! No!’”

No one answered her locked door when officers arrived the first time. The same neighbor called again at 11:30 a.m., concerned about a possible homicide.

When police returned the second time, they found Wilson’s body inside.

According to Jennifer Timmons, a public information officer with the Columbia, S.C., police, Wilson was "stabbed multiple times."

The time and place of memorial services has not been released.

Wilson earned her doctorate at MU in 2004. She worked as a graduate assistant, research assistant, student teacher supervisor and graduate teaching instructor from 2001 to 2005.

She was awarded numerous scholarships throughout her studies in Missouri, and spent a year in Norway as a Fulbright scholar.

She specialized in education for middle school teachers, presenting scholarly papers internationally in France, Norway, China, Hungary and throughout the United States.

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