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2016-03-10

Hay competent to stand trial – Part 3

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

On Feb. 16, 17 and 18, a competency trial for Nathan Frederick Hay was held in the 198th District Court of Bandera County.
Had the jury found Hay incompetent to stand trial, he would have been confined to a mental institution “… until such time as he regained his competency.” Instead, after 15 minutes of deliberation, a 12-person jury deemed Hay competent to stand trial. This paved the way for an eventual criminal trial for felony continued sexual abuse of a minor and felony manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, among other serious charges.
Hay’s initial arrest occurred on March 24, 2014, when City of Bandera Deputy Marshal Earl Heidelberg’s initiated a 3:30 am traffic stop after observing a Suburban being driven erratically on Highway 173 South. At the time of the stop, Hay’s 14-year-old stepdaughter was driving the vehicle with Hay asleep in the backseat of the vehicle. After a K-9 alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle, Hay was arrested and charged with felony drug violations. His stepdaughter was released to the custody of her mother.
However, as the law enforcement investigation into the incident continued, things became a little more ominous for Hay. In October 2014, he was charged with continued sexual abuse of his stepdaughter. Out on bond for the drug charges, Hay was re-arrested on the sexual abuse charge and has since remained incarcerated in the county jail.
During the trial, 198th Assistant District Attorney Stephen Harpold entered into evidence a DVD of a taped interview of Hay by Bandera County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jeff Majewski.
However, because Hay failed to waive his rights, the interview consisted mainly of Hay attempting to secure Majewski’s word that the “charges of sexual ‘whatever’ will go away.” Hay was concerned about the three felony arrest warrants for sexual charges and what evidence the sheriff’s department “had against him.”
Majewski replied repeatedly, “It’s not up to me. I’m just investigating the allegations.”
Hay continued, saying, “I would not do this. I’m not a child molester,” then “It’s my word against her word.” By way of explaining his stepdaughter’s allegations against him, Hay offered, “(She) wanted out of the house. She said she would get even with me for not letting her leave.”
Hay also noted that as a 41-year-old man, he would never sexually abuse a child.
“Texas prisons are full of 41-year-old men who had sexual relations with their (underage) stepdaughters,” Majewski replied.
During his cross-examination, Hay’s defense attorney Anton “Tony” Hackebeil noted, “Nathan never waived his rights, but you continued the conversation and now everybody’s heard it.”
“Yes,” Majewski admitted.

(Editor’s note: In the Thursday, March 17, edition of the Bandera County Courier, accounts of recorded jail house telephone calls made by Hay will be published.)