NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A local mother whose son was murdered 2 and 1/2 years ago paid for a grave marker and never got it.
“I come out here, and I see my son,” says Sonia Williams. “This is my son’s makeshift headstone … it says happy birthday lil-Max.”
Sonia’s son Maxie Mock was gunned down in Norfolk at a huge party on July 30, 2017, the day before Sonia’s birthday.
“He was always smiling. Every time you saw him.” Mock would die in his sister’s arms, leaving behind five children.
Sonia got emotional thinking about her son, who still doesn’t have a grave marker, and the operator of the headstone business.
“He just don’t know what it’s like not having a headstone. It’s not that he just doesn’t know every day that I have to think about this, and not having my son, and on top of this I have to deal with his not giving what I asked for, and what I paid him for.”
Sonia gave the owner of Seaboard Memorials nearly $3,000 to make a grave marker. More than a year would pass and no headstone. She complained and finally Seaboard owner Lawrence Hawkins wrote her a check for $2,940.
“I paid them in full, and it’s been 2 years. And I took him to court and he never showed up,” Sonia said.
With nowhere to turn, Sonia turned to 10 On Your Side.
“I would like you to go to him to see what he has to say.”
Hawkins’ front door was locked, and so was the back. We then called him on the phone and left a message.
Hawkins eventually showed up and was confronted by WAVY investigative producer Adrienne Mayfield.
Mayfield said to Hawkins, “With all due respect you’ve had almost $3,000 for 2 years, and no product …will you give her the money and a headstone?”
After a pause, Hawkins then said, “OK I will give it to her. I will give it to her.”
Hawkins agrees to pay up, to give Sonya interest in the form of a grave marker, and then a few days after that, Hawkins pays Sonia $2,940. She took a picture of all the money.
A few days later we went back to Hawkins to say thank you. He was very gracious and apologetic, “I’m sorry about this whole thing. It’s just a misunderstanding, but we will straighten it out, and she is going to get her marker for her son.”
10 On Your Side had more questions for Mr. Hawkins.
Why did he write a bad check, and then take so long to start doing the right thing?
He claims “financial issues. It’s a tough business. The recession hit … I understand in a time of grief what people go through, I do.”
We wanted Hawkins to make good on the new grave marker. “I understand what you are doing. I support (10 On Your Side) 1000%. I’m not
a shyster. I am not a crook. I am not hiding behind bankruptcy.”
So Williams will get the headstone as interest?
“Absolutely she shall get it,” Hawkins said.
10 On Your Side went back to Sonia to tell her Maxie will get a grave marker. “It was like until I called you all he was ignoring me, and then when I called you all he just jumped out of a basket … I could never get in touch with him, and then what happened, you call came to help,” Sonia said.
Maxie died over two years ago, but in Sonia’s dining room his memorial lives, and a family never forgets. “He always said I have his back, so he’s saying well you did it again. That’s probably what he said, she did it again.”
Mom had her son’s back, even in death.