An Indiana woman who died in November requested in her last will and testament that her dog Bela be buried with her. One problem: Bela is still alive.
FORT PIERCE — Tyler Hadley's defense for allegedly bludgeoning his parents to death probably will be "involuntary intoxication."
Chief Deputy Public Defender Mark Harllee announced the defense's strategy Tuesday morning during a hearing over whether prosecutors have the right to data compiled by psychologists interviewing Hadley.
At the hearing before Circuit Judge Robert Makemson, Chief Assistant State Attorney Tom Bakkedahl said he needs the data — the questions asked of Hadley and his answers — to prepare for what he expected to be a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity "or some other psychological defense."
Harllee said he had not filed "an intent to rely on insanity, or do I intend to. ... At this point, we don't know which direction we'll take, but more than likely it will be an involuntary intoxication defense."
Bakkedahl replied, "Involuntary intoxication, for all intents and purposes, is insanity. ... It's not a question anymore of if (Hadley) did it; the question is if he was insane."
Harllee didn't object to Bakkedahl's statement. In fact, he predicted "a very lengthy sentencing hearing."
Hadley, who is 18 now, was 17 years old on July 16, 2011, when he allegedly beat his parents, Mary Jo Hadley, 47, and Blake Hadley, 54, to death with a hammer at the family's home in the 300 block of Northeast Granduer Avenue in Port St. Lucie and then sent out invitations via Facebook for a party at the house.
In an apparent reference to an insanity plea, Hadley wrote in a Nov. 29 letter from the St. Lucie County Jail to Michael Mandell, his best friend and the prosecution's key witness: "We do have a very strong defense and could beat the (first-degree murder) charge if we go to trial. I could be lookin' at 20-40 years in the pen, but at least I'll get out. If I plead insanity and go to a state hospital, I'm lookin' at 10 or 15 years. That's what I pray for."
Mandell told Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers that Hadley took three pills of the psychoactive drug commonly known as ecstasy before the homicides: "He said he couldn't do it sober."
If convicted of first-degree murder, Hadley faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Because of his age at the time of the homicides, he cannot be executed.
Makemson granted Bakkedahl's request for Hadley's psychological data. Both Harllee and Bakkedahl told Makemson the case is on schedule to go to trial in March or April.
The facial tattoo "Misunderstood" stood out to victims of a robbery at gunpoint in Dania Beach.
A Pensacola woman, Ashley Taylor Wright, has been arrested after authorities say they tried arrest her for shoplifting and she threw the baby at a deputy as she tried to escape.
A Tennessee man found this out the hard way when a woman dipped in his pool, naked, as her husband robbed his home.
Putnam County investigators say it was "fowl" play when three young men stole a giant chicken.
A man in Fort Pierce said he used his "powers of invisibility" to abscond with a carton of menthol cigarettes, but his conscience appears to have gotten the best of him.
A Golden Gate Estates, Florida man was arrested Monday after Collier County sheriff's deputies say he broke into a woman's house, left her love notes and took photos of himself with her underwear on his head.
Authorities say two Florida brothers got into a tussle over missing macaroni and cheese that ended with one stabbing the other in the stomach.
For years, Wayne Brandenburg shopped at his local Wal-Mart three or four times a week. He never thought he'd pick up a wife, or marry her, there. But that's exactly what happened.
A woman who lived in a home that local authorities in April called the worst hoarding case ever in Palm Beach County is in the county jail today, facing dozens of animal cruelty charges.