Jeffrey Hazelwood is behind bars for murdering two teenagers, Carter Davis and his friend, Natalie Henderson, outside a grocery store in Roswell, Georgia.
On the morning of Aug. 1, 2016, officers were dispatched to a Publix supermarket on Woodstock Road after a delivery driver spotted a male and a female dead behind the store.
The bodies were identified as those of Carter and Natalie, who were both 17-year-old seniors in high school. Natalie attended Roswell High School, while Carter went to River Ridge High School.
Their deaths were ruled homicides following an autopsy performed by the Fulton County Medical Examiner.
According to ABC7 Chicago, Carter and Natalie died from a “single gunshot wound to the head.” They also had minor cuts and burns on some of their toes.
Two days later, on Aug. 3, police arrested Hazelwood, who was 20 years old at the time, at a gas station, QuikTrip, on Woodstock Road in Cobb County.
He was booked into the Roswell Detention Center before police transported him to the Fulton County Jail.
Hazelwood was held without bail. He was charged with two counts of murder.
During a police interview, Hazelwood told detectives that he became curious when he saw Carter and Natalie arrive at the shopping center and parked their vehicle behind Publix.
WSB-TV reported that Carter and Natalie’s parents thought they were home in their bedrooms.
Hazelwood said he hid behind an electrical box and watched Carter and Natalie for a while before he climbed on top of the store and watched them from there.
When he walked up to the car and opened the door, Hazelwood said Carter became confrontational and attempted to fight him so that he wouldn’t get inside the car.
That’s when Hazelwood said he got scared and hit Carter with the gun before he shot him.
Investigators said Hazelwood stole the gun from his grandfather, who raised him after his parents broke up when he was a baby.
That wasn’t the first time Hazelwood had stolen a weapon from his grandfather. According to Fox 5 Atlanta, in February 2015, Hazelwood stole a rifle from his grandfather’s gun case.
Two years before that, Hazelwood went into his gun safe and stole knives and a sword. Then, his grandfather said Hazelwood told him that “he was going to blow and people were going to get hurt.”
But at the time of the shooting, he had been kicked out of his grandparents’ house and was living with friends and other relatives.
After shooting Carter, Hazelwood turned his attention toward Natalie. He said he ordered to get out of the car and remove her clothes.
Although Hazelwood said he sexually assaulted Natalie with his hand, her autopsy showed that she was not sexually assaulted.
He went on to say that he told Natalie to put her hands on the hood of the car. He spanked her, then aimed the gun at the back of her head and opened fire.
Hazelwood then put Natalie’s body in a sexually suggestive position, then he stole her credit card and used it at the Flash Foods gas station on Highway 92 in Woodstock.
He returned to the crime scene and stole Carter’s jumper cables. Hazelwood said he was afraid his silver Honda Passport SUV would break down.
Investigators said surveillance cameras from a UPS store in the Kings Plaza Shopping Center and Publix linked Hazelwood to the murders.
Police initially believed that Hazelwood was Natalie’s ex-boyfriend, but an investigation revealed there was no relationship between the two.
Before trial began, the judge ordered that Hazelwood be evaluated at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, as his defense team said he had a history of mental illness.
As a child, Hazelwood was diagnosed with schizophrenia, sensory disorder, bipolar disorder, and Asperger’s syndrome.
He allegedly told doctors he took anti-psychotic, depression, and anxiety medication two days before the murders, but he later said he wasn’t on medication.
One of the psychiatrists who treated Hazelwood testified that he mentioned hearing voices and that his thoughts were being monitored.
Although Hazelwood suffered from psychosis, it was not considered a mental illness. The medical team stated that they “have struggled with putting a label on his mental illness.”
They also claimed that he doesn’t “quite fit into the full spectrum of an autistic diagnosis.”
The judge deemed Hazelwood competent to stand trial after the doctor said he would be able to “understand the proceedings” once he’s given proper medication.
Hazelwood’s attorney said in court that he was sorry for what he had done. He said, “He’s very remorseful for what happened. He was off his meds when this happened and he was having hallucinations, audio and visual. He’s very remorseful.”
His attorney also stated that Hazelwood pleaded guilty but mentally ill because he wanted to continue getting treatment at the mental health facility.
In May 2017, Hazelwood was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole.