PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - It's been a tough couple of months for 17-year-old Michael Mandell.
A jailhouse letter from his best friend, Tyler Hadley, came for him in the mail last month.
"I want to get out and become a priest. I can't wait to do good in school and don't mess up," Mandell read from the letter.
Mandell's life took a grim turn on the afternoon of July 16th.
"I'm not mad at you for what you did that night. I'm actually really grateful that you did that, because if you didn't, then I wouldn't be here thank you," Hadley said in the handwritten letter to Mandell.
Mandell was at a party hosted by Hadley when he admitted to him that hours earlier he killed his parents, Mary Jo and Blake Hadley, with a hammer inside their Port St. Lucie home.
"I think about it every day and I don't stop thinking about it," Mandell said.
Tyler showed Mandell the crime scene while the party was in full swing. The 17-year-old had no choice but to turn Tyler in to the police.
"It's terrible. I hate it," he said.
It's been almost four months to the day since the murders. Mandell struggles with panic attacks and is now home-schooled.
"I started going to counseling cause I didn't know how to deal with it," he said.
Too much to deal with knowing his best friend stands accused of murdering his parents and now lives a life behind bars.
"That was my closest person I ever had to me, and I'm kind of lost without that person," he said.
In the letter, Tyler admits he's sorry, and from the confines of the St. Lucie County Jail says he's trying to change his life around.
"He said he feels what he did," said Mandell. "He made a mistake and he found God now."
It's the beginning of a new kind kind of friendship that Michael Mandell says will continue on in a different way.
"I'll put you on my visitors list when you turn 18," Mandell reads from the letter.
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