Hakken Couple Could Face Life Sentences for Taking Back Their Children

Hillsborough County Sheriffs OfficeHillsborough County Sheriffs OfficeJoshua and Sharyn Hakken, the Florida couple who "kidnapped" their own children after a Louisiana judge terminated their parental rights following a 2012 marijuana arrest, could be facing life in prison. The Tampa Bay Times

Because weapons were involved, the Hakkens could be facing multiple charges carrying lifelong sentences. Kidnapping for the purpose of committing a felony and burglary with battery are both felonies punishable by life in prison, Tampa lawyer Rick Terrana said.

"They are literally legal strangers to the children, therefore it is straight-up kidnapping," Marchese said. "They will have a very difficult time in the criminal arena. You'll never be able to tell a biological parent, 'You are no longer the parent.' They don't understand that."

That Times story came out lo April 10. A day later, the paper reported that 

Prosecutors also added one new charge: child abuse.

The couple inflicted "mental injury" on the children, according to court records. If convicted, they face up to life in prison.

Child abuse is an odd, maybe even vicious, charge to levy, considering that Chase and Cole believe they were on vacation. The Times again

The boys think they took a vacation to Cuba.

They have no idea that, according to deputies, they were kidnapped by their parents.

On Thursday, a few hours after their parents made their first appearance before a Hillsborough County judge, Cole and Chase Hakken, ages 4 and 2, stood before a crush of media on their grandparents' front lawn. The boys flashed broad grins and held hands.

The grandparents simply told the boys Thursday that people wanted to take pictures of them because of their boat trip and plane ride.

Bail was denied for both Joshua and Sharyn, which means they'll be jailed for the duration of their legal troubles, and probably for long after. Their next hearing is on May 30, when we might see some evidence that this tragedy had a point.

As of now, the only arguments I've seen that the Hakkens were a danger to their kids is that they are a) marijuana users b) gun owners and c) willing to use force to get their kids back. Oh, and they distrusted the government. 

Read more about the Hakkens here

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  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    God bless the Hakkens, and their children. I would have done the same thing.

    Fuck the government and it's War on Drugs.

  • deified||

    *its

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    tits

  • Jordan||

    Fried chicken

  • Loki||

    RACIST

  • Alan||

    Also fuck Cuba. They're no longer good for even offering a refuge to American dissenters - which was formerly their one saving grace.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Bombing the Boston Marathon doesn't make sense. Not when there are so many much more deserving targets.

  • RightNut||

    As of now, the only arguments I've seen that the Hakkens were a danger to their kids is that they are a) marijuana users b) gun owners and c) willing to use force to get their kids back. Oh, and they distrusted the government.

    Yup, definitely deserve sentences as severe as if they murdered their kids.

  • Rasilio||

    More severe, had they simply murdered their kids they'd be looking at 25 years tops

  • RightNut||

    It is Florida, you sure about that?

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    At this point, their best bet is to hope someone like us is on the jury.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm sure they'll be bullied into taking a plea of some sort and never have the opportunity to have a jury decide.

  • Rasilio||

    Am I the only one that really hopes that something more comes out about these two that makes it at least justifiable that they may have been a danger to their kids, because right now as it stands I'm 10x more pissed about this than the bombing in Boston yesterday

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I'm not going to say I want more to come out, but I know what you mean.

    Kind of irrational on my part, I know. If the kids really were abused--I'm talking cigarette butt burns or other violence--it's already happened, and now it's stopped, and my opinion of whether it really happened doesn't matter. But I still find it a tough thing to wish for.

  • Ted S.||

    If the kids really were abused--I'm talking cigarette butt burns or other violence--
    the state would be waving the bloody shirt. They're not, which is what makes me believe there wasn't any abuse.

  • tarran||

    No. I'm with you.

    One of the passages from Primo Levi's memoirs of his time in Auschwitz haunts me to this day, the condemned jew shouting defiantly from the gallows "Kameraden, ich bin der Lezte," while the mass of men who numbered enough to overwhelm the guards silently watched.

    I keep hearing that voice in my head. Accusing.

    It would be such a relief if these people were bad people who were hurting those kids, because the converse is so awful.

  • Virginian||

    people were bad people who were hurting those kids, because the converse is so awful.

    _____

    Yeah that's why the sheep are going to believe that so hard. Because the alternative is that the dogs and the shepherd don't really have their best interests at heart. Which is terrifying to a sheep.

    Of course I'm sitting here typing, not loading magazines and planning a rebellion, so I probably shouldn't be throwing stones, so to speak.

  • Loki||

    the alternative is that the dogs and the shepherd don't really have their best interests at heart.

    The phrase "Lambs to a slaughter" comes to mind.

  • ||

    Help me out with the translation. Google didn't recognize Lezte.

  • tarran||

    Crap, I misspelled it. It's Letzte.

    It's "Comrades, I am the last one!"

    This review nails it pretty well.

  • Virginian||

    The literal translation is something like "Brothers/comrades/friends, I'm the last".

    Figuratively I think it's more like calling them out that they aren't willing to strike back, even in extremis.

    One of the methods they used was digging a big pit, then the Jews would be brought by truck, forced to lay down in it, then shot. Then the next group would be brought in. Yet the next group would meekly walk into the pit, and lie down on the cooling corpses. Why? I mean....you've got nothing to lose. Sneer and be dammned, and make Hans and Uli pick up your corpse and chuck it into the pit at least.

    Another thing you see that's heartbreaking is one or two Germans with slung rifles easily chivvying along a hundred or so Jews. Sometimes you can even see that the chamber is empty. Or they'll have a pistol in a flap holster with the holster tied down. Or an MP40 with the stock folded and the chamber empty. But no one there knew that gun was at least five seconds from being ready to fire.

  • ||

    I understand the feeling, but really what you are saying is that you hope your government didn't really do what it seems they did.

    That's what I see. A compliant media portraying these poor people as child abusers, and a system that brutally violated their human rights, drove them to desparation, and then punished them for resistance.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    As of now, the only arguments I've seen that the Hakkens were a danger to their kids is that they are a) marijuana users b) gun owners and c) willing to use force to get their kids back. Oh, and they distrusted the government.

    Thought crime. The very worst kind.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    had they simply murdered their kids they'd be looking at 25 years tops

    Like the children are the issue, here.

  • $park¥||

    The grandparents simply told the boys Thursday that people wanted to take pictures of them because of their boat trip and plane ride.

    Yeah, because imagine if the grandparents said "you see boys, the police say your mommy and daddy stole you from grandma and grandpa and then tried to get away because they're bad guys." Can you imagine the WTF look the kids would have given?

  • tarran||

    Telling little kids that the people whom the kids love are evil people is always, and I mean always, a very bad idea.

  • Brett L||

    Grrr. Assholes. If they aren't telling those kids: "Your mommy and daddy love you so much, they would rather go to prison rather than let anyone take you away from them without a fight." They're doing it wrong.

  • tarran||

    No, they're doing it right.

    If the grandparents said that, it would not only harm the kids psychologically, it would give CPS an excuse to put them in foster care, among the pederasts and child molesters.

  • Loki||

    Yeah, I think when the kids get old enough to understand what really happened then that would be the way to explain it to them.

    Unfortunately I somehow doubt that will be how it's explained.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I always quickly figured out when people were jerking me around. Relatives have permanently ended up on my shit list because of it. Always be straight with children.

  • tarran||

    It's basically like the thing Sarcasmic went through, when the cop was begging him to give the cop an excuse to put a bullet in his back: the CPS guys are looking for an excuse to act - if they don't like you.

    It's terrible, but you have to act like a black man in the Jim Crow south; you keep quiet, placid, unthreatening, submissive, and after the CPS people rubbed your face in your powerlessness, they wander off after more interesting prey. OF course, sometimes, submissiveness isn't enough, and they string you up just to make an example to terrorize the other darkies. And like the clansman justifying their actions as defending white women against the lusts of black men, they are protecting defenseless children against the evil appetites of mundanes.

    These people didn't understand that. Or they did and reasoned that they would rather die knowing they didn't submit than live on their knees. It's a shame; if indeed they were being railroaded, if indeed the state was looking to string them up to terrorize the others, then my hat is off to them for making the gamble. It was a bad choice to tie up in Cuba, though. They should have headed to Costa Rica.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    If parents are never willing to give the state any kind of static whatsoever, no matter the cost, will kids be better off?

  • Alan||

    Why would Costa Rica be any better?

    Cuba at least has a history of antagonism towards the United States. Does this mean that North Korea and Iran are the only reasonable alternatives left?

    This whole episode is really sickening. There should be heads on pikes for this.

  • Chaucer||

    Melissa Harris-Perry must be so proud right now.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    "They are literally legal strangers to the children, therefore it is straight-up kidnapping," Marchese said. "They will have a very difficult time in the criminal arena. You'll never be able to tell a biological parent, 'You are no longer the parent.' They don't understand that."

    Your children belong to the collective. If you are deemed unworthy by engaging in thoughtcrime around children why, we'll just eminent domain your kids and give them to someone who will teach them to bow and scrape and thank the nice police man when he shoots your dog.

  • Ted S.||

    "They are literally legal strangers to the children, therefore it is straight-up kidnapping," Marchese said.

    Then the law, sir, is an ass.

  • PRX||

    I won't blame the kids if they go Max Sand on these apparatchiks someday.

  • Loki||

    Oh the kids will most likely be taught to be good little compliant sheeple.

  • ||

    Especially if marijuana is eventually legalized and their parents are still in prison.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Oh, and they distrusted the government.

    I cannot begin to imagine why.

  • ||

    Get me on that jury.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Kids are pretty good at picking up on emotional turmoil. If they merely think they were on "vacation" that indicates to me there was probably not much in the way of a dispute when the parents came and got them.
    Maybe the "kidnapping" was to keep the grandparents in the clear.

    The whole thing stinks to high heaven.

  • ||

    Maybe the "kidnapping" was to keep the grandparents in the clear.

    That's a good point. This is such a different scenario than the grandparents in the Casey Anthony case, as well. In that one, the Anthony probably wouldn't win any mother of the year awards, and it's tough to say if she really wanted to kill her daughter or if she just went too far with her irresponsible actions one time.

    Where the fuck are you now Nancy Grace, you fucking cunt? Why isn't this story being covered from Florida to Alaska?

  • sarcasmic||

    Where the fuck are you now Nancy Grace, you fucking cunt? Why isn't this story being covered from Florida to Alaska?

    Because the parents are drug users. They lost their humanity the moment they left paraphernalia where the kids could see it.

  • Ted S.||

    Nancy Grace is probably having an orgasm that the State is fucking over these parents.

    On the bright side, it means she's not propagandizing against the Hakkens.

  • ||

    How did they get captured? Or did they surrender?

    This story is such bullshit, and just like the Kermit Gosnell case it is deliberately being kept down to a dull roar because the media doesn't want to confront the fact that this couple's children were kidnapped from them because of a drug charge, and all they did was fight to get them back.

    FUCK THE POLICE. If these kids were being abused I think they would have had a much different account of what transpired, even at ages as young as 2 and 4. This is kidnapping by the state, and it is absolutely disgusting.

  • Jordan||

    The Cuban police picked them up. They probably weren't expecting it, so didn't bother hiding once they reached Cuba.

  • califernian||

    ^^This . 100x this.

  • Capo||

    I read that they announced themselves to the Cuban authorities when they docked there. I can only guess, but I'm thinking that they planned to ask for political asylum or something. The Cubans just sent them right back.

  • ||

    Dull roar? Nobody has written an article on it since Friday. Go check google news.

    This is DEAD SILENCE.

    They don't give a fuck. There is no controversy. No dissent. The mainstream media, to the last fucking man, thinks these parents got what they deserved.

  • Raston Bot||

    Anyone else think the Hakkens probably announced their "armageddon" plans in a sarcastic tone and the cops decided to fuck them with it later because they were not getting the respekt they were trained to deserve? The court of public opinion is hinging on whether they really were a danger to their kids.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Are there any other pictures of them out there? Because if the guy always looks like that, I may have to consider the "they really were dangerous nuts" possibility more.

  • ||

    The guy probably looks like that because he has been on the run for a few weeks and that is a booking photo from the Hillsborough County Sheriff Office.

    Why do you hate facial hair?

  • tarran||

    He had just sailed a significant distance accross the ocean, in a small sailboat, with only one other adult and two kids.

    My guess is he stood watch the whole time, going at least 24 hours without sleep.

    The picture says nothing.

  • geekster||

    That guy looks like his beard could fight Chuck Norris to a draw, which makes him awesome.

  • ||

    Have you ever been on vacation with two pre-schoolers? That's the look we all have.

  • N||

    Here's a more normal looking picture of the two:
    http://www.news4jax.com/image/.....Hakken.jpg

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    We have to get them out of there. Who's with me? Fine, I'll just do this shit myself, as usual.

  • Harvard||

    Call me. We need to talk.

  • califernian||

    They are definitely going to throw the book at these peopel and lock up as long as they can for as many charges as they can get to stick. they have DEFIED THE STATE!

  • thom||

    I bet their kids will love explaining to the grandkids why grandma and grandpa are in prison.

    One of my great hopes is that eventually people in this country will realize how long "life" is.

  • ||

    Isn't there some sort of legal foundation that could offer to pay for their defense?
    Right now they are using the public defender because they can't afford a lawyer.
    Why isn't there some famous lawyer willing to take their case pro bono?
    What about the fucking ACLU?

    Does the ACLU have a stance on having your kids seized for the crime of smoking weed? What about NORML?

    Surely there are legal foundations out there who are devoted to defending people convicted of drug crimes. Shouldn't this count?

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