Michael Hayes

Michael Hayes (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A man accused of stabbing his neighbor to death just hours before his own wife gave birth pleaded guilty Wednesday.

The move comes days before his capital murder trial was set to begin.

According to Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Elizabeth Jones Brown, Michael Hayes pleaded guilty to murder, first-degree robbery and tampering with physical evidence.

The murder took place in 2013.

LMPD received a call around 8 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. A neighbor called to say that Jovon Dawson, a 23-year-old mother of three, was stabbed to death in her apartment. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and the cause of death was listed as multiple sharp force injuries.

It happened in an apartment complex on Lindell Avenue near Broadway in the Shawnee neighborhood. Police say Hayes was the suspect.

"The 6-year-old daughter woke up, found her mother laying in the kitchen in a large pool of blood, went to a neighbor, and the neighbor came in and got the other two children and took them out of the apartment," said Lt. Todd Kessinger, who was head of the LMPD Homicide Unit at the time.

Family members said Dawson was on maternity leave as a certified nursing assistant. 

Police say Hayes admitted he tried to rob Dawson for a large amount of drugs. Then, police say there was a fight that ended with Hayes stabbing Dawson several times. Police say he got away with some personal belongings and a gun, but no drugs were found.

But what he did after that surprised some people. Police say after the murder, he returned to his house and drove his wife to Norton's Hospital, where, hours later, she delivered their baby.

Hayes is scheduled to be back in court on April 12 for sentencing. The judge could sentence him to anywhere from 20 years in prison to the death penalty.

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