Attorney: Jeffrey Hazelwood was doomed from the start

NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The former attorney for the grandparents of a man accused of murdering two teens in Roswell says the man’s mother raised him in an environment not fit for any child.

Jeffrey Hazelwood is accused of shooting and killing Natalie Henderson and Carter Davis in a parking lot behind a Publix earlier this month. %

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Prosecutors will take the double murder case of Hazelwood before a grand jury in 11 days, where Hazelwood's mental capacity is sure to come up.

Hazelwood’s attorney is arguing that the 20-year-old is mentally ill.

Channel 2's Tom Jones talked with another local attorney, Kenneth Schatten, who says Hazelwood's mother may have contributed to his mental decline by raising him in a bad environment.

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“She was a remarkably poor parent,” Schatten said. "He never had a chance."

Schatten says Sherri Hicks Hazelwood abused drugs and had strange men around her son. He described it as an environment that no parent should raise a child in.

“Everything we would not want our children exposed to,” he said.

Schatten says Hazelwood’s grandparents saw what was going on and hired him to get custody of their grandson.

The grandparents got custody, but Schatten doesn't think Hazelwood got the help he needed to overcome living with his mother.

Schatten says the courts ordered intensive counseling that required Hazelwood’s mother to participate.

“(It) was definitely needed. Horrible relationship between mother and son,” he said.

Schatten says it's imperative social services do more early on to counsel children and parents like the Hazelwood’s to prevent them from becoming involved in tragedies.

“The solution is to identify these kids when they're born, identify the type of family they are in and to provide them with services,” he said.

Jones reached out repeatedly to get a comment from Hazelwood’s mother, but so far she hasn't responded.

Police have not yet released a motive for the killings.