A 19-year-old Bend man has received a life sentence for killing his adoptive father, according to the Deschutes County District Attorneys Office.
Hawkin Groenendaal cried during his sentencing hearing on July 5 and apologized to his family for the murder of William Groenendaal, 58, at his Awbrey Butte home in January 2005.
“I screwed up,” he said. "I've made a lot of bad decisions in my life, but this tops them all," Groenendaal said.
Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan says it goes beyond making a bad decision. “He brutally murdered William for the sole reason that he wanted to take his car, credit cards and money to buy a wedding ring for a girlfriend who lived in Colorado,” Dugan said. “All he could think about was himself.”
|Hawkin Groenendaal at the time of his arrest in Jan. 2005 - DCJ Photo|
The district attorney said Groenendaal could have simply robbed the house when the family wasn’t home. “He was here several days prior, stalking his father and the family,” he said.
"He knew their routine… he chose to lie in wait until his father came home and chose to savagely murder him,” Dugan said. “He left his father dying in the shower while he went back into the kitchen and ate ice cream.”
The brutality of the crime led prosecutors to ask for a true-life sentence. “He will never be out of jail,” Dugan added.
The district attorney’s office gave up seeking the death penalty in exchange for Groenendaal’s accountability. The teen’s adoptive mother, Annette Groenendaal participated in the plea negotiation which led to his sentencing. “She felt it would give closure to their family, protection to her family and her younger daughter.
A letter from the victim's daughter, Jessica Groenendaal, was read by one of the prosecutors during the hearing.
She wrote that she wished she could take her father’s name back from her adopted brother, but that she doesn’t hate him. It would take too much energy.
She continued, stating that she believed that God will deliver her stepbrother’s final sentence on Judgment Day.
Groenendaal is the natural nephew of Annette and William and began living with the couple at the age of six. He was then adopted by the Groenendaal family at age seven.
Dugan said he had a troubled childhood. “His teenage years were spent using drugs and getting into trouble,” he said.
The family spent hours and many dollars trying to help Groenendaal through his youthful problems. Dugan says the teen was enrolled in private school and later boot camp. “They placed him in a treatment program which he completed but later returned to his original ways,” he said.
Despite Groenendaal’s tearful courtroom display, Dugan says in reality he appears to have no shame. “He has told others that he has no remorse and he has articulated to others that being locked up in jail will not stop him from committing other crimes.”