December 21, 2008
Heather D’Aoust - 15 Year Old Girl Charged With Savagely Beating Adoptive Mother With A Claw Hammer Will Stand Trial For Murder
Heather D'Aoust's MySpace Profile
San Diego, California (The Weekly Vice) -- Heather D'Aoust, a 15-year-old girl who was arrested after striking her adoptive mother at least 15 times with a claw hammer, was ordered Wednesday to stand trial for murder.
In the morning hours of May 25, 2007, James D'Aoust and his oldest daughter awoke to the muffled screams of his wife, 56-year-old Rebecca D'Aoust. When he ran downstairs to investigate, he found his wife beaten savagely in the head with a claw hammer. Rebecca, who was a school teacher and counselor, died the next day.
Heather D'Aoust, who was 14-years-old at the time, was detained and booked into Juvenile Hall while authorities tried to untangle the motives behind the brutal attack.
In the flurry of court hearings in late May, it was determined that Heather D'Aoust would be charged as an adult, however it was yet to be determined if she would be charged with murder. That question has now been answered.
Monday and Tuesday, the court began to hear parts of the prosecutor's case, which laid out a case for premeditated murder. According to prosecutors, Heather allegedly left a trail of evidence that pointed to what she was about to do.
Prosecutors say Heather typed notes into her cell phone and computer before the killing that allegedly spelled out her plans.
FBI Special Agent Tim Hamon testified that he had accessed the notes which he read aloud in court. They stated: "Wake up. Kill with hammer as they wake up. Hide bodies in back seat of van. Drive to church. Leave them with Christian-hating note, steal money. Bike home. Go to sleep again."
According to Hamon, the note ended with a description of what she would do next. "Report to authorities, act panicked and explain I waited a day to see if they returned."
Patrick Lim, a criminal investigator who examined a computer the teen used, was able to access various web pages that had been browsed the night before the killing.
One page accessed that night was titled "BigDaddyBlog, Merk's Top Ten murder weapons", according to Lim. A hammer was the site's #6 top choice.
The user then allegedly entered various search phrases into Google that included "lethal household things", "parents murdered by child" and "children who kill", Lim told the court.
During the preliminary hearing, the court heard several hours of testimony from Heather's father, FBI agents and forensics experts that presented a long history of problems, that seemingly became worse in the last year before the murder.
Suicide threats and complaints of feeling suicidal were abbreviated with outbursts of anger towards her mother. Outbursts that even rattled Heather's friends.
Heather's lawyer presented a case of mental illness. That claim was echoed by Heather's father, who stated his belief that there are two Heathers. A peaceful Heather and a "Heather Two".
Apparently it was Heather Two who woke up that morning.
The Weekly Vice Opinion:
This case is not a new case, however few details were released shortly after it happened because the suspect is a minor and it wasn't known whether or not she would be tried as an adult. Basically, this case is just now beginning to unfold.
Those who are interested in following this case might want to check in on Wednesday as the trial date for this case is scheduled to be determined Tuesday of this next week.
The Weekly Vice
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