Attorneys representing Keith Hawkins, 19, accused of two homicides, have filed for a continuance of his preliminary hearing. His preliminary hearing had initially been scheduled for Aug. 23 in Harvey County District Court.
Hawkins is charged with capital murder and two counts of first degree murder following a double homicide in Newton last week. He is accused of killing 4-year-old Zaylynn Paz and her 24-year-old mother Alyssa Runyon. Paz was found stabbed to death while Runyon was found strangled in their home.
Hawkins was later arrested in Texas. Hawkins was involved in a chase, driving over spike strips before losing control and crashing into two vehicles and Christian Brothers Automotive in Hutto, Texas. He was driving the victim's vehicle when he arrived at a family member's residence
He has been appointed counsel of the Death Penalty Defense Unit, as capital murder can carry with it a possible death penalty.
Hawkins has had previous brushes with the law, which at one time landed him in the Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility.
According to records of the Kansas Department of Corrections, Hawkins was sentenced to an intensive supervision probation for one year. That was to begin in October of 2011. In 2014, he entered case management and Kansas Department of Corrections custody. In 2015 he was sentenced to 24 months, with six months of aftercare at the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex in Larned. Later that year he was transferred to Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility.
In 2016 his sentence was modified, allowing for his release from the Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility on Aug. 1 with six months of aftercare. He was rleased from custody via court order on Feb. 22 of this year. His court ordered aftercare ended July 31.