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Wednesday
Jul202011

Hammer Murder Suspect Told Pal He Would Kill Parents, Affidavit States

St. Lucie Sheriff's Office(PORT SAINT LUCIE, Fla.) -- The teenager who allegedly used a claw hammer to bludgeon his parents to death twice confided in his best friend that he intended to kill them, but the friend dismissed the comments because the teen had made such threats before, according a police affidavit released Wednesday.

The suspect also told a friend that he attacked his parents, Mary Jo and Blake Hadley, after taking a large dose of the drug ecstasy.

Details of the double murder emerged as Tyler Hadley's attorney, Mark Harllee, filed a not-guilty plea. Hadley is currently being held at the Port Lucie County jail in Florida.

Hadley has confessed to killing his parents, police said. He then threw a boozy party for about 60 friends while the bodies of his parents laid in a locked bedroom.

During the party, Hadley pulled his best friend Michael Mandell aside and told him that he killed his mother and father, according to the affidavit.

When Mandell didn't believe Hadley, "Tyler pointed out both his parent's vehicles were still in the driveway," according to the affidavit.

He wasn't convinced until Hadley took Mandell to the master bedroom where Mandell saw a man's leg and recognized Blake Hadley's shoe. Hadley told his friend, whom he has known since they were 8, that "he stood behind his mother while she was at the computer and thought about killing her for about five minutes. Then he decided to strike his mother in the back of the head with a hammer."

After the initial blows, Hadley said that his mother turned to him and asked, "Why?" Hadley's father came out of the bedroom when he heard his wife scream. "Tyler told MM [Mandell] that he and his father stared into each other's eyes for a minute. Tyler said he then went after his father and murdered him," the affidavit states.

Mandell said Hadley took his parents' cellphones and put them in his bedroom so that they couldn't get to them and took one of their credit cards so he would have access to their money.

It took the teenager about three hours to mop up the blood, he allegedly told Mandell, before his friends arrived for the party.

According to the affidavit Mandell told police Hadley was going to take 10 Percocet pills and kill himself, but the police showed up instead.

It was Mandell who called police to alert them to the murders. When they arrived at the home they found Hadley glassy eyed and talkative. When the boy said they couldn't come in, the police entered anyway on the possibility that someone inside could be in danger.

The officers found the parents' bodies in a locked bedroom beneath furniture that had been piled into there from other rooms in the house, the affidavit said.

Mandell told television station WPTV that Hadley had taken three ecstasy pills and that he didn't believe his friend's confession until he saw the father's body.

Dr. Julie Holland, an assistant professor of psychiatry at New York University who has studied ecstasy, said, "It is absolutely not known to cause violent reactions."

The tablets Hadley allegedly took may have been sold as ecstasy, Holland said, but could have been anything.

Given that Hadley had talked about murdering his parents in the past, "He could have been having a first episode psychotic break that was made worse or triggered by ecstasy," according to Dr. Cindy Kuhn, a neuropharmacologist at the Duke University Medical Center.

Most people assume ecstasy causes euphoria, explained Kuhn. Although that is true in small doses, she said, larger doses -- such as the three pills Hadley allegedly took -- can produce high blood pressure and increased anxiety.

Hadley's age, 17, is a "prime age to go crazy," Holland said. In the late teens and early 20s the brain is very vulnerable, she explained. That's typically when people develop schizophrenia or manic depression, she said.

In patients with schizophrenia, for example, a drug like ecstasy can trigger an episode, Kuhn said. It's unknown if Hadley suffered from psychological illness.

Port Saint Lucie police spokesman Tom Nichols could not disclose if investigators found drugs in the Hadley home.

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