Murder Charges Expected Today in Connection to Chippewa Teen's Death

By: WSAW Staff
By: WSAW Staff
Monday, prosecutors said Shane Hawkins is solely responsible for killing 17-year-old Jason Grau and hiding his body near the Chippewa River.  His bond was set at $500,000 cash on Monday.

Shane Hawkins

The Chippewa county district attorney says he will file murder charges against 30-year-old Shane Hawkins Tuesday.

Monday, prosecutors said Hawkins is solely responsible for killing 17-year-old Jason Grau and hiding his body near the Chippewa River.

Friends say Grau and his family were close to Hawkins. They say Hawkins even stayed with Grau's family at some point. But, they also say Grau's family thought Hawkins was in his early 20's.

They say when Jason Grau disappeared last week, friends came to Hawkins’ home at 36 Elm Street in Chippewa Falls looking for him; it's the same home where prosecutors say Hawkins killed Grau.

Monday, flowers replaced what last week was a crime scene; placed on the river bank for a boy whose mom says he loved to fish and hunt.

"Jason Grau died as the result of multiple stab wounds," said Capt. John Liddell, interim Chippewa Falls police chief at a press conference Monday morning.

Liddell says Grau's death is not related to drugs or gang activity. In front of a courtroom full of the teen's family and friends, Hawkins showed no emotion via video conference from the Chippewa County jail.

"They searched the garbage and they found the shoes they believe belonged to the victim," Assistant District Attorney Roy Gay said in court.

Prosecutors say Hawkins killed Grau on a couch at his home. They say investigators found a substantial amount of blood under that couch and a knife in the home. They say a witness saw Grau at Hawkins' home in the early morning hours of Monday February 22 before he disappeared.

They say Hawkins put Grau's body in his car and drove to the river where another witness saw the car. The district attorney says another person told investigators Hawkins' home smelled strongly of bleach in the days after.

"An acquaintance or friend of Hawkins was actually present at Hawkins’ house and reported an inordinate amount of the smell of bleach," says Chippewa County District Attorney Jon Theisen.

Prosecutors say Hawkins himself made incriminating statements to investigators saying he was contemplating “future acts of a similar nature.”

Capt. Liddell had said from the start there was no danger to the public.

In the end, the judge set Hawkins' bond $500,000 cash. It's an amount the district attorney says isn't high enough.

The public defender who was with Hawkins in court Monday argued Hawkins has no chance of coming up with half a million dollars. He told us on the phone, the public defenders office would not be representing Hawkins after Monday. He didn't want to say anything else on behalf of Hawkins.

Hawkins is scheduled to be back in court Tuesday afternoon.

Capt. Liddell and prosecutors are still not saying what exactly led to Grau's murder.

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