Fathers of children killed in Hartsville fire file suits against - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Fathers of children killed in Hartsville fire file suits against mother, DSS

Hope Kaneshia Hawkins (Source: Darlington County Detention Center) Hope Kaneshia Hawkins (Source: Darlington County Detention Center)
Camaron Hawkins, 3, twin 10-month-old girls My'asia and Ky'nasia Hawkins. (Photo from the Hawkins family) Camaron Hawkins, 3, twin 10-month-old girls My'asia and Ky'nasia Hawkins. (Photo from the Hawkins family)
Delonta Dixon, 4 years old, was found dead after a mobile home fire in Hartsville Wednesday. Provided by the family Delonta Dixon, 4 years old, was found dead after a mobile home fire in Hartsville Wednesday. Provided by the family

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) – The fathers of the four children killed in mobile home fire in Darlington in April of 2013 have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the mother and the Department of Social Services, alleging DSS knew the mother was unfit, and their malfeasance contributed to the deaths of the four children.

Quintin Mason, the father of Ky’Nasia Hawkins-Mason, My-Asia Hawkins-Mason, and Cameron Cornelius Mason, and Detrick Dixon, the father of Delonta DeShawn Dixon, filed the suits in April.

The suits allege that the employees of the Darlington County Department of Social Services failed to perform as reasonably prudent social workers, resulting in the deaths of the four children of Hope Hawkins. DCDSS had received multiple reports concerning Hawkins’ failure to care for her children, including medical reports suggesting Hawkins may have been using drugs.

The DSS’s failure to properly train caseworkers is cited as the reason for the failure of the agency to conduct a proper investigation into the suspected abuse and neglect by Hawkins. The suit also notes that Governor Nikki Haley has stated several times that the DSS system is broken and understaffed.

The suits are seeking actual and compensatory damages from the DSS for each occurrence of negligence alleged, and seeks actual damages, consequential damages, and punitive damages from Hawkins in an amount to be determined by a jury.

Hawkins was originally scheduled to head to trial on June 15 to face four criminal charges of involuntary manslaughter, four counts of homicide by child abuse, and four counts of unlawful neglect of a child. That trial date was canceled, and there is currently no date set for her criminal trial.

Hawkins' four young children, 4-year-old Delonta, 3-year-old Cameron, and 2 10-month-old twins Ky'Nasia and My-Asia, died when their home near Hartsville caught fire on April 24. Investigators still don't know where Hawkins was when the fire started, but they believe the four kids were left alone.

Related Links:

Attorney General to prosecute mother of Hartsville fire victims

Mother of fire victims charged with homicide by child abuse

SLIDESHOW: 4 children found dead after mobile home fire in Hartsville

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