WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – Tyler Hadley, 17, who confessed beating his parents to death with a hammer in July 2011, changed his plea to no contest for two counts of first-degree murder at Wednesday morning hearing.
Hadley told prosecutors that he understood that changing his plea could put him in jail for at least 25 years to life in prison. Prosecutors told Hadley they would ask for consecutive sentences that would give Hadley 50 years in jail before he was eligible for parole.
Police said Hadley was high on ecstasy when he beat his parents, Mary Jo Hadley, 47, and Blake Hadley, 54, to death with a hammer on July 16, then threw a house party via Facebook invites while their bodies remained in a locked bedroom, according to police reports.
According to police documents released, Hadley told his friend that he stood behind his mother for about five minutes in contemplation before finally plunging a hammer into her head. A friend said, when Hadley struck his mother with the hammer, she screamed one final question to her son: “Why?”
When his father walked into the room, Hadley told the friend that they locked eyes before he started beating his father with the hammer, too.
The boy took his parents’ cell phones away ahead of the attack so they couldn’t call for help, according to his friend’s account.
When it was over, the parents were dead.
Hadley spent three hours cleaning up the blood, before hosting dozens of friends. Hadley told the friend he was surprised how long the cleanup took.
The details of the killings were contained within a juvenile arrest affidavit released by the Port St. Lucie Police. The friend of Hadley’s told police he received a call from the suspect Saturday afternoon claiming he planned to kill his parents, a threat he didn’t take seriously because it had been made in the past.
Later that day, the friend told police, Hadley made the same threat again.
At the party that night, Hadley asked the friend to step outside to talk, confessing to the killings, according to the report. When the friend didn’t believe him, Hadley pointed to his parents’ cars parked in the driveway. He still wasn’t convinced.
Hadley then showed his friend a bloody footprint in the garage and, ultimately, the bodies in the bedroom, police said.
Hadley will be sentenced later this year.