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Lexington Co. Woman convicted in connection with home invasion, murder of 8 year old boy

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 4:21 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 11:41 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - A Lexington County woman has been sentenced to 40 years in prison in connection with a home invasion incident that led to the death of an 8-year-old boy.

Linda Monette, 25, has been found guilty of murder, criminal conspiracy, 1st-degree burglary, and attempted armed robbery.

“The murder of Mason Hanahan has been the intense focus of our entire office for over two years. The lifelong impact of this crime on Mason’s family, baseball teammates, and the Oak Grove community has been immeasurable,” 11th Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard stated. “We abide by our commitment to protect children in our community from violence and ensure that our neighborhoods remain safe,” Hubbard said.

On May 13, 2019, Mason Hanahan spent the evening with his father Austin Hanahan following baseball practice. Mason fell asleep on the couch in the living room after playing Fortnite, according to reports.

Monette, an acquaintance of Austin Hanahan, was also visiting the home.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m. on May 14th, 2019, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call reporting that an armed intruder had kicked in the door of the residence and taken Monette “hostage.”

Austin Hanahan exchanged gunfire with the intruder in an attempt to get the suspect to release Monette from his grip.

During the exchange of gunfire, the intruder fired multiple rounds inside the home and fatally struck Mason in the head. Austin Hanahan was also injured by gunfire.

The autopsy determined that ammunition from the intruder’s gun killed Mason.

In the course of the investigation, Monette made multiple inconsistent statements which led investigators to focus on her ties to local gang members.

On May 17, 2019, Monette confessed to conspiring with others to commit the staged home invasion and “have a gun held to her head” as part of the plan for a robbery.

Testimony revealed that the motive for the robbery was to steal large amounts of cash that Austin Hanahan had recently withdrawn from a bank, as well as marijuana present in the home.

At the time of his death, Mason was a second-grade student at Oak Grove Elementary and a standout player on the Pineview Dixie Youth Baseball team. He had dreams of becoming a professional baseball player and had been selected to the Dixie Youth All-Star Team a week before his death.

Family members of Mason Hanahan spoke at the sentencing hearing and shared memories of him as an extremely caring child who cherished his siblings and was beloved by his classmates, teachers, and baseball team. His mother, Tyler Hanahan, recounted that Mason had recently been selected to the Eagles program for academic excellence.

The intruder connected to this case remains at large despite the efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies to confirm his identity.

Anyone with information regarding this crime or the identity of the intruder is urged to contact Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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