A Georgia man accused of executing two high-schoolers behind a supermarket has been indicted on murder charges, prosecutors say.
Jeffrey Hazelwood, 20, allegedly admitted to stalking, then shooting Natalie Henderson and Carter Davis to death outside a Roswell grocery store—a disturbing crime for which he could face the death penalty.
On Monday, a grand jury indicted Hazelwood on felony murder, aggravated sexual battery, and other charges in connection to the slayings of the 17-year-olds.
Since Hazelwood’s arrest, lurid details of the case have saturated local news.
Police say the suspect was captured on surveillance footage wearing a V for Vendetta mask after the murders. He donned the Guy Fawkes-style disguise at a gas station and when he returned to the crime scene an hour later. Cops would eventually discover the mask in his SUV, along with a 9mm pistol.
When later questioned by detectives, Hazelwood “used a British accent and a very whiny-type voice,” one investigator claimed.
At an initial court appearance, Hazelwood appeared to be shaking and making a stroking movement, as if petting a dog in his lap, CBS46 revealed.
Hazelwood has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Asperger syndrome, according to his lawyer. “This is about mental illness and he’s ill,” Hazelwood’s attorney Lawrence Zimmerman told reporters.
Police haven’t released a motive or elaborated on what led the long-haired suspect, who worked at a Michaels craft store, to attack the teenagers.
Raised by his maternal grandparents, Hazelwood was ordered to move out of their house by Aug. 1—the day of the murders. (The couple feared their grandson, who had allegedly snatched guns and knives from them in the past, 11Alive reported.)
That night, Hazelwood spied on his victims, who were in the backseat of Henderson’s car at about 3 a.m., CBS46 reported. The teens, just days from starting their senior year, had parked behind a Publix supermarket for privacy.
“He admitted when he originally saw the vehicle, he became curious as to why they were going behind the Publix so he followed them back there,” Roswell detective Jennifer Bennett said at an August preliminary hearing.
Hazelwood peeped from “behind an electrical box for some time” before he “climbed to the top of the store and watched them,” for 20 minutes, Bennett testified.
The suspect—who police say wrote of wanting to become an “assassin”—eventually approached the car and forced the teens out at gunpoint. He pistol-whipped and shot Davis in the head because he was afraid of him, Bennett testified.
Hazelwood then forced a partially-clothed Henderson to remove the rest of her clothes, Bennett said. According to CBS46, Hazelwood claimed to sexually assault her but an autopsy report showed no sign of sexual trauma.
The alleged triggerman claimed he ordered Henderson to lean against the vehicle’s hood and spanked her before shooting her in the head, Bennett said.
A delivery driver found the victims’ bodies around 6 a.m., laying on the ground and between two vehicles, and dialed 911.
An autopsy report indicated Henderson, an honor student and color guard member, was found naked on the ground “with her legs widely separated” and a feather in her hair. She was shot in the front of the head at close range, Fox 5 reported.
Meanwhile, authorities found Davis, a beloved lacrosse and football star, wearing only shorts and “possibly posed in a cross-like position” with his arms extended. Davis and Henderson had possible burn marks on their big toes, the autopsy revealed.
After killing the teens, Hazelwood allegedly stole jumper cables from Davis’s car and a debit card from Henderson’s wallet, which was inside her vehicle. He used the card at a Woodstock gas station, which put police on his trail.
Video footage from a nearby UPS Store captured Henderson’s and Davis’s vehicles entering the parking lot behind Publix, the Marietta Daily Journal reported. Sometime later, a man is shown walking toward their vehicles before fleeing.
Cops linked a silver SUV seen in surveillance footage to Hazelwood’s grandfather. Authorities found the vehicle parked at the home of Hazelwood’s girlfriend and followed him to a gas station before cuffing him.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hazelwood was walking outside the convenience store and took off his shirt when officers arrived.
While executing a search warrant, detectives learned Hazelwood lived in a deadbolt-locked bedroom and forbid his grandparents from entering, 11Alive reported.
Police retrieved a pair of plaid boxers, black boots, and electronics in their search, and a notebook “with writings about being schizo,” according to the warrant.
Days later, one of Hazelwood’s friends told 11Alive that Jeff is a “caring person” whose struggle with mental illness overcame him.
“He cared about animals and he cared about people but mental illness makes you do things you would never do. He heard voices. Imagine hearing voices in your head,” said the pal, who was not identified in the report.
The friend told the TV station that Hazelwood was in special ed in elementary school for behavioral problems and was home-schooled for middle school. He got his GED months before his arrest, the friend added.
“When he went away to get treated, he would come back and take his medicine,” the confidant said. “Then he would stop because, like a lot of mentally ill people, they think they are better and they don’t need it anymore.”
An attorney who once represented Hazelwood’s grandparents, Kenneth Schatten, echoed the friend’s statements on Hazelwood’s mental illness.
Schatten told WSB-TV that alleged drug abuse by Hazelwood’s mother likely contributed to his psychological issues. The mom also brought strange men around her son in the poor living environment, he claimed.
“She was a remarkably poor parent,” Schatten told the TV station. “He never had a chance.”
Hazelwood’s grandparents hired the attorney to obtain custody of their troubled grandson. As part of the proceedings, the court ordered counseling between Hazelwood and his mother, Schatten said. “(It) was definitely needed. Horrible relationship between mother and son,” he told WSB-TV.
Hazelwood’s social media appears to reflect his inner turmoil.
Photos of wolves and Alice in Wonderland quotes on madness decorate his Facebook page, which lists nicknames including “Hit Guy,” “The Winged Wolf, “White Lightning,” and “El Rey,” or “the king” in Spanish.
In one Instagram photo from March, with Hazelwood sporting aviators and a pentagram necklace, the caption reads: “Heart as cold as ice, soul blacker than night, for the devil named his price.”
“Why the fuck should I live? Can’t do shit right,” Hazelwood wrote on another selfie in April. “All I do is hurt everybody even the one I love more than my own life and I swore to never hurt. I’m beyond fucked up. There’s no one left.”
A graphic in one June post simply read, “Love me or kill me.”
On Aug. 2, as he eluded authorities, Hazelwood shared another darkly-edited selfie.
“Always remember that you are absolutely unique, one of a kind,” he wrote. “Just like all the others.”