Monday, March 2, 2009

Hanna Mack, Will this child receive full justice?

As you can see from Hanna Mack's picture, she was a lovely child. Hanna was like any other six year old girl. She enjoyed jumping rope, playing hopscotch and riding her pink and purple bicycle. In 2007, Hanna had just started the first grade at Blooming Grove Elementary School. According to her grandmother, she was excited about school because she loved books and could see her new friends every day.

A few months before school started, Hanna had moved to Navarro Mills, TX. with her mother, Dana Mack, and her two older sisters (12 and 14). Her mom met a boyfriend named Kevin Wayne Anders,32, and allowed him to move in with them.

Hopefully, nothing that you hear from here on out will sound like the life of any other six year old child.

When Dana Mack went to bed the night of September 9, 2007, she saw her youngest daughter, Hanna, sleeping on the living room couch at about 1 a.m. in the morning. Less than seven hours later, Dana Mack would find Hanna's half-naked dead body hanging from the rafters of her family's garage. That Monday morning, Sept. 10, 2007, when Hanna should have been getting ready for school, police were scouring her home trying to find clues to her murder. Medical examiners determined that Hanna had been beaten, raped and then hung.

While going through a computer taken from the Mack home, criminal investigators found the presence of child pornography. On Sept. 13 Kevin Wayne Anders was arrested for possession of child pornography. For several weeks Anders was the primary suspect in Hanna's murder; however, on Sept. 26 DNA evidence came back which pointed to Shaun Earl Arender,19, and he was charged with Hanna's murder.

Katfishponders first heard of Hanna's story several weeks ago while reading at the JurorThirteen Blog. JurorThirteen has followed this story from the start and do have a thread open for discussion of this case on their message boards.

On February 13, 2009, Shaun Earl Arender gave his confession in open court as part of a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole by District Judge James Lagomarsino. Under questioning by District Attorney R. Lowell Thompson, Arender placed the blame on the former live-in boyfriend of Hanna's mother, Kevin Wayne Anders, claiming he was just going along with the sexual assault of the first-grader when she died.

Katfishponders won't go into the details here but you can follow the links listed below or for the most comprehensive coverage in one stop, just follow the embedded link above to JurorThirteen (where it says followed this story), the testimony is on the lower part of the page. On the stand, Arender unraveled a sickening tale of people on the edge of society, and the consequences for the vulnerable children in their midst.

Arender’s lawyers, Kerri Anderson Donica, Mark Griffith and Monica Bishop met with Arender after the hearing, then Griffith and Bishop held a short press conference outside the jail. Griffith said he hopes that Anders is indicted on capital murder charges, adding that his client is ready to testify against Anders.

Kevin Wayne Anders remains in jail, charged with possession of child pornography, in lieu of a $100,000 bond. He has not yet been charged in connection with the Mack murder. Investigators are still working on that case, Thompson said.

Dana Mack’s other two daughters were removed from her custody after Hanna’s murder. They’re now in foster care and doing well, said Marissa Gonzales with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Their mother is allowed regular visits.

Hopefully, readers with children will take from this post the lesson that Dana Mack learned the hard way....the choices that you make for yourself may affect your children for the rest of their life....that is....if it doesn't cost them their life.

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  1. What a beautiful little girl. What a sad story.

  2. Katfish, excellent entry on this very horrific story. Keep up the great work!

  3. Hi Katfish... thanks for giving little Hanna a voice. I don't know why, but seeing the article here, and listening to Denny Griffin's story is just making me well up with tears tonight.

    Maybe our voices together, about this darling little girl, will make a difference in someone's life. Maybe someone will be careful as to who they bring into their home and around their children.

  4. she will be missed.