December 2, 2020 539 PM
MARFA — Authorities last month dismissed a case against a man accused of theft and unfinished work after that man pleaded guilty in one case and agreed to pay full restitution to the victims.
Craig Jex Hawker, 45, was arrested by the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office in July after authorities accused him of swindling both a Marfa school club and a local resident.
The first charge involved the West Texas Wind Track Club, a group for Marfa students that had no direct affiliation with the Marfa Independent School District.
After starting as a Marfa athletics volunteer in 2018, Hawker helped found the group. He also helped organize fundraisers, including a brisket fundraiser, a bake sale and online fundraisers like a GoFundMe.
Then, last year, more than $2,800 in club funds vanished. Authorities accused Hawker of felony theft and arrested him, indicting him in January.
Hawker allegedly told a witness that he’d used the money to pay rent and planned to pay it back within days, according to the police report. He bonded out for $80, The Big Bend Sentinel previously reported.
Separately, authorities in January also indicted Hawker of two other felonies — theft of property and misapplication of fiduciary property — after he made promises to a Marfa resident to carry out building work that never arrived.
Ostensibly working as a contractor for Mission Solar Panels, Hawker billed that resident, Teryn Muench, nearly $15,000 for solar panel installation. But he allegedly took at least four installment checks while “failing to begin installation,” according to the indictment in that case.
Hawker was charged with not only theft but also misapplication of fiduciary property because he transferred funds for the installation into his personal account rather than keeping it in a separate one, a spokesperson for the Presidio County district attorney’s office previously told The Big Bend Sentinel.
In the case involving the solar-panel work, Hawker pleaded guilty in November. Under an order of deferred adjudication, he agreed to pay restitution of around $14,773, as well as court costs of $290.
As part of that same agreement, Hawker also agreed to pay back the West Texas Wind Track Club for all funds taken from them, which the court found to be $2,375. District Attorney Sandy Wilson then moved to dismiss that school-club theft charge, noting that Hawker had agreed to have “restitution paid in full.”
Under his deferred adjudication agreement, which local Judge Roy Ferguson signed, Hawker agreed to five years of supervision. He also agreed to other conditions, including abstaining from alcohol and narcotics.
Reached for comment this week, Liz Rogers, Hawker’s lawyer in the cases, said that Hawker “looks forward to paying the victims in full.” At press time, Hawker has already paid back the track club in full and has paid at least $2,625 to Muench, the victim in the solar-panel case, court records state.
Muench did not immediately respond to a request for comment by press time.