By Russ Pankonin and Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Julie Hanes, 38, already held suspicions of what her husband, Dwayne Lawrence, 38, might be capable of.
So much so that she obtained a restraining order against him just weeks before he kidnapped her Saturday, Aug. 24. Her abduction set off a massive statewide manhunt that ended just outside of Imperial Sunday night.
On July 12, Lancaster County District Court approved Hanes’ request for a domestic abuse protection order against Lawrence.
She sought the order after incidents occurring July 1, July 3 and July 8.
July 1 incident
According to court records, on the evening of July 1, Hanes told Lawrence she didn’t think they would be able to work things out with their marriage.
She said he ran downstairs, she followed and he grabbed a gun and warned her not to get any closer.
Hanes began screaming, begging him to stop. He responded by telling her to shut up, because “if someone called the cops and they showed up, it was over.”
This standoff continued for around two hours, according to the records, until she was able to talk him down. “I told him everything he wanted to hear and he put the gun down.”
She made him call a friend, who came over. The friend changed the combination on the husband’s gun safe so he wouldn’t have access to the guns.
July 3 incident
In her affadavit, Hanes said they had spent a calm evening together, talking and hanging out.
Around 3:30 a.m., she said her husband’s mood changed. “Suddenly he became dark and angry.”
She said she didn’t want to fight and instead was going to bed in their Lincoln home at 3335 Dudley Street.
She thought he had left but instead, he came back up to the upstairs bedroom.
She said he wanted to pick a fight so she told him to leave. “He told me I didn’t want him to do that. I would never see him again. Then, he pulled out his gun.”
She said she tried to take it from him but was unsuccessful and he ran back downstairs.
Hanes said she called a friend, and later Lawrence’s mother. Both came over but were not able to calm him down, as he still held the gun.
Lawrence sent his mom home but kept Hanes and the friend in the living room as he held on to gun.
About 7 a.m., he finally unloaded the gun and handed it to the friend. He told them he would get some help as long as they didn’t say anything about the incident.
Hanes said she and her friend then removed all the guns from the house. She later moved them to her parents’ home in Imperial.
After the couple was spotted in Imperial early Sunday morning, the Imperial Police Department (IPD) removed the guns being stored at the Hanes home, with assistance of a family member.
July 8 incident
The most frightening incident for Hanes occurred on the night of July 8, beginning around 11:30 p.m.
Hanes thought Lawrence had left the house to stay with his mother. Instead, he came back in and went up to the bedroom.
“I told him he needed to leave. He said he wasn’t going anywhere. In the mirror, I could see he had a gun in his waist band,” Hanes recalled in the affidavit.
Lawrence started drinking and told Hanes to have a beer because it was probably going to be her last.
She offered to leave the home but he wouldn’t allow it. He took her phone so she couldn’t call anyone. “I was terrified.”
Hanes said she “started freaking out” so he forced her to take one of his Xanax pills, a pill used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
In her statement, she didn’t recall exactly how it happened but Lawrence fired the gun into the bedroom wall. “I have never been so scared in my life,” she stated.
Lawrence told her he wasn’t going to kill her. Instead, he was going to shoot himself and make her watch, so that she’d turn the gun on herself, as well.
“I watched him put his gun in his mouth and up to his head several times.”
She said she kept telling him she’d do whatever he wanted, if he’d just stop.
Around 3 a.m., he said he would stop if she would stay with him. She agreed and he finally put the gun down.
Charges filed against husband
Jim Peschong, chief of the Lincoln Police Department (LPD), said they began an investigation after receiving a copy of the protection order.
Lawrence was later arrested, charged with false imprisonment, making terroristic threats and using a weapon to commit a felony.
He posted 10 percent of a $250,000 bond and was released July 16.
At the end of July, Hanes filed for divorce.
On Saturday, Peschong said Lawrence showed up with a handgun at Hanes’ hair salon at 27th and O in Lincoln.
He said Hanes and a friend were cleaning out the salon, which she was planning to close.
Peschong believed Hanes was in the process of moving back to Imperial to put distance between herself and Lawrence.
Hanes abducted at gunpoint
He said Lawrence used a zip tie to tie Hanes’ friend to a piece of furniture. He then placed a zip tie around Hanes’ neck and marched her out at gunpoint, he said.
After LPD found Hanes’ car several blocks away, they issued a bulletin to look out for a gold Chrysler Concorde, Lawrence’s mother’s car.
Based on information they received, Peschong said they strongly believed the couple was headed to Imperial.
Imperial Police Chief Rob Browning said LPD told him Lawrence had made terroristic threats against the entire Hanes family.
That’s what prompted Imperial police officers to put surveillance on the West 5th home of Julie’s parents, Jim and Pam Hanes.
Peschong said they had reason to believe Lawrence had access to 10-15 guns, including an AR-15 assault rifle, and as many as 10,000 rounds of ammunition.
One of the guns Julie and her friend removed from the home earlier was the AR-15, along with several other assault rifles, hunting rifles and handguns.
Peschong said it was obvious that Lawrence was not thinking rationally, based on his action. With that kind of fire power, he said it was wise to think ahead.
That’s why they alerted the Imperial police and Chase County sheriff’s office.
Car sighting kicks off hunt
Despite the statewide bulletin of the car’s description, it was not sighted until IPD officers saw it in Imperial early Sunday morning.
Browning said Hanes later told him that Lawrence began criss-crossing the state from north to south to avoid being seen.
Browning believes that’s what took them so long before showing up in Imperial. LPD told Browning the abduction occurred around 12:30 p.m CDT.
Somewhere between 3 and 3:30 a.m. MDT Sunday morning, the car was spotted outside the Jim Hanes home by officers hiding outside the home.
Browning said the officers had parked their units some distance away to avoid being discovered. By the time the officers ran back to their units, Lawrence turned off the getaway car’s lights and disappeared into darkness.
About 7 a.m., Browning got a call from local farmer Dan Reeves who believed he’d found the car law enforcement agencies were looking for.
Reeves was checking his pivots north of Imperial when he found the car backed into one of his pivot roads.
From that point, a massive manhunt concentrated on cornfields northwest of Imperial, after foot tracks were found going into field.
About 6:30 p.m. MDT, Lawrence released Hanes, who walked out on the field’s pivot road.
She informed law officers that Lawrence indicated he was going to kill himself and that she had tried to talk him out of it.
About 90 minutes after her release, officers heard a single gunshot.
They then located Lawrence’s body, about 130 yards in from the county road. He had killed himself with a single shot to the head from a .40 caliber handgun, ending the 33-hour ordeal.