Hauser up for parole

Then-17-year-old killed stepmother, her young son

<p class="indent">A Beauregard Parish man who planned and executed the murder of his stepmother and her son in 1983 will be appearing in court Thursday for parole reconsideration.</p><p class="indent">Aaron Hauser, now 53, will appear before Judge C. Kerry Anderson as he seeks to be granted parole eligibility after serving more than three decades behind bars for the deaths of Joan Hauser and John Leidig on July 4, 1983. Hauser pleaded guilty and was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder on April 26, 1984. He was sentenced to life without benefit of parole.</p><p class="indent">Hauser was 17 at the time the murders were committed, and recent changes to the Legislature by the state Supreme Court now require all juveniles given a life sentence be reconsidered by a thorough review of their case.</p><p class="indent">According to court documents, Hauser’s case was considered especially heinous by the state because of the premeditation on Hauser’s part in his plot to harm members of his father’s family.</p><p class="indent">In 1979, Hauser’s parents were legally divorced and he and his sister, Robin Hauser, moved with their mother to Kerrville, Texas. Hauser’s father, George Hauser, remarried Joan Hauser who had four children from a previous marriage. The youngest, Leidig, was the only minor child of the four and lived with his mother and stepfather at the time of his death in 1983.</p><p class="indent">According to court documents, Hauser enlisted the help of acquaintance William Kinkade in the days prior to July 3, 1983, and the two men purchased multiple guns including a high-powered rifle. When Hauser’s mother made a trip out of town, the two juveniles embarked on an eight-hour road trip to Beauregard Parish, where they arrived just before daylight on July 4. The two snuck through fields and pastures to a barn located on George Hauser’s property where they watched as Hauser left the home to tend to his farm.</p><p class="indent">Aaron Hauser and Kinkade approached the home, with Hauser entering and Kinkade remaining outside of the house. After entering the home, Hauser found Joan Hauser in her bedroom and shot her in the face and chest. He then located Leidig asleep in his bed and shot him in the face and arm.</p><p class="indent">According to the documents, Kinkade confessed to investigators that he had been told by Hauser they were going to commit property crimes, and that when he heard shots fired he fled from the home to a neighbor’s residence and called authorities. Hauser eventually left the Hauser farm and returned to Kerrville, where he was arrested the same day.</p><p class="indent">The state alleges Hauser has never shown remorse for the killings. Statements obtained from inmates and entered as evidence revealed that Hauser spoke in detail about the killings, at one point saying that “it had been easy” to kill the victims and described what the victims did immediately after being shot. Multiple statements reflected that Hauser even remained in the home drinking KoolAid in the moments after the murders while he searched for Kinkade.</p><p class="indent">“The defendant’s statements following the crimes to other inmates show that he had no concern whatsoever for the victims he murdered or their loved ones,” Assistant District Attorney Richard Morton stated in his arguments.</p><p class="indent">In their statements, multiple inmates told investigators that Hauser had laughed as he talked about the murders.</p><p class="indent">Hauser’s defense argues that through the course of decades, Hauser has earned his right for a chance before the parole board.</p><p class="indent">Since his incarceration at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Hauser’s record reflects only one disciplinary complaint filed against him in 1987, and since that time the defense argues he had become a “model inmate, having earned a place working in the K-9 unit."</p><p class="indent">In recent hearings, defense attorney LaKetha Holmes entered as evidence testimony from a Texas family who makes regular visits to the prison that befriended Hauser and have come to view him “as a family member.” Holmes said the couple has offered to allow Hauser to live near their residence if he is granted release.</p><p class="indent">If granted eligibility by Anderson, Hauser would be allowed review by the state parole board for potential release. Thursday’s hearing is expected to begin at 1:30 p.m.</p>””parole hearing graphic