Teen Allegedly Kills Parents With Hammer, Then Parties

Seventeen-year-year old Tyler Hadley could be charged with first-degree murder.

ByABC News
July 18, 2011, 2:52 PM

July 18, 2011— -- A Florida teenager accused of killing his parents with a hammer and partying afterward with more than 40 friends. He's being held without bail and could face charges of first-degree murder.

Police say 17-year-old Tyler Hadley used a 22-inch framing hammer to kill his parents, Mary Jo Hadley and Blake Maurice Hadley, then covered up their bodies and drank beer with his friends.

Relatives and friends are grief-stricken, blindsided by the news.

Maurice Hadley, Blake Hadley's father, said ever since he learned on Sunday that his youngest son had been killed he felt as though he were in a trance.

"We don't understand this at all -- we never expected anything like this," he said. "They were a great couple."

Last week Tyler and his father had taken a trip to north Georgia with Maurice and his wife, Betty, to visit Maurice's sister.

"They had a good time," said Maurice Hadley, 82, who lives in Stuart, Fla. "They went for walks together, white water rafting, went out on a boat ..."

"Everything was great. This is really confusing."

Did Tyler Hadley Plan to Murder His Parents?

Tyler had invited his friends to come over Saturday, police said, posting a message on Facebook around 1:30 in the afternoon.

Later that night, around 10 p.m., between 40 to 60 friends arrived at the house. Neighbors complained about noise from the party, so police sent a patrol car to the neighborhood around 2:30 a.m. but didn't notice anything unusual.

Then, hours later, they received an anonymous tip that Tyler had killed his parents.

When police showed up at the Hadley home around 4:20 a.m. they found "beer cups lying around the house" and Tyler appeared "nervous and panicky," according to Port Saint Lucie Police Capt. Don Kryak.

At that point, Kryak said, the party had already broken up. Police found Mary Jo Hadley, 47, and Blake Hadley, 54, in the master bedroom covered in household items, including "books, files and towels."

Police said it looked like a deliberate attempt to hide the bodies.

Port Saint Lucie police spokesman Tom Nichols said police found the hammer between the two bodies, and that it had been used on the couple's heads and torsos.

Although the police were still awaiting autopsy results, they "can say for certain" both parents were killed before the party began.

Police say they believe Tyler acted alone, and that he'd likely be tried as an adult.

Motive Unclear in Murder of Florida Parents

A motive for Tyler's alleged actions remains unclear.

There was "nothing to lead us to believe it was a rage issue of any sort," Kryak said.

And as far as Maurice Hadley knows, Tyler never suffered from any behavioral problems or mental illness.

Neighbor Charlene Moses said she's lived on the same block as the Hadleys for 15 years and remembers Tyler and his older brother stopping by during Halloween. She said they were always polite.

"The poor child -- my prayers are with him too," she said. "What he's going through to make him do something like that?"

Remembering Blake and Mary Jo Hadley

Blake Hadley, 54, worked for the Florida Power & Light Company for almost 30 years as an engineer, his father told ABCNews.com.

"He was a great man," said Maurice Hadley.

He described his son as a man who was "proud of his two sons," affectionately describing him as a "gentle giant," because he was 6 feet 4 inches and "always jolly."

His wife, Mary Jo Hadley, 47, worked as a first grade teacher at Village Green Environmental Studies School.

A spokesperson from the St. Lucie County School district was not available for immediate comment.

Moses, 63, a family friend who had known Mary Jo for decades, said she was a "goodhearted person who loved her boys."

To her, like many in the Florida community of about 165,000, the horrific crime doesn't seem real.

"I've just been beside myself all day -- today when we learned what happened. ... It's just a nightmare," Moses said. "You hear about children being mean and killing their parents, but nobody you actually know."