To our readers: Some of the material below is deeply disturbing. It represents what the suspect told police about the crime, and some readers will be upset by the details.
The man accused of killing two Roswell teenagers said he watched the pair — even climbing to the top of the Publix in Roswell — before approaching them behind the store, a detective testified Friday.
Natalie Henderson and Carter Davis, both 17, were in Natalie's SUV when Jeffrey Hazelwood walked up, Hazelwood told investigators. The suspect said he had parked his car in front of the store and that Natalie and Carter didn't know he was there.
Roswell police Detective Jennifer Bennett testified that, according to Hazelwood, he opened the door of the car and was confronted by Carter, who tried to fight him and keep him out of the vehicle. He said he struck Carter with his gun and then, because he was afraid of the teenager, shot Carter in the head.
Hazelwood said he then ordered Natalie out of the car and made her take her clothes off. He told investigators he sexually assaulted her with his hand and then ordered her to face the car and put her hands on the hood. When she had done so, Hazelwood said, he spanked Natalie and then shot her in the head. As she spoke of Natalie spreading her hands out on the hood of the car, Detective Bennett broke down and wept on the stand.
Bennett was the sole witness to testify in Friday's preliminary hearing for Hazelwood, convened in Fulton County magistrate court to decide whether the case against the Hazelwood should proceed.
Hazelwood, rail-thin in a navy jail jumpsuit, was led to his seat next to his lawyers about 11 a.m., and the hearing convened. He sat motionless as the detective took the stand, apparently more composed than at his first appearance in court Aug. 5, at which he trembled uncontrollably.
In his cross-examination of Detective Bennett, one of Hazelwood's attorneys said that the suspect suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Bennett testified that, perhaps an hour after the killings, Hazelwood went to a nearby gas station, wearing a Guy Fawlkes mask, and used Natalie's credit card to pay. He said he then returned to the murder scene and stole Carter's jumper cables, apparently out of concern that his car might break down.
When police arrested him at a convenience store about 48 hours later, they found the mask in his car, the jumper cables and a revolver they believe was the murder weapon. Bennett said Hazelwood apparently stole the gun from his grandfather. He was mostly raised by his grandparents, who had very recently thrown him out of the house, Bennett said.
Hazelwood has been held without bond at the Fulton County jail ever since his arrest.
Magistrate Judge Karen Woodson bound the case over to the Sept. 9 Fulton grand jury.
The preliminary hearing came one day after the Fulton County Medical Examiner released autopsy reports on both teenagers. The reports included disturbing findings by police at the scene.