Tyler Hadley changes plea to no contest, family proud of his decision

Pleads no contest

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Family of Tyler Hadley was in court Wednesday to hear Hadley change his not-guilty plea to a no-contest plea.

Hadley is accused of killing his parents, Mary Jo and Blake Hadley, in their Port St. Lucie home in 2011. He's accused of killing them with a hammer then throwing a party while their bodies were still inside the home.

Family did not want to speak on camera after the hearing, but told WPTV over the phone that they are proud of Hadley for making the decision to change his plea and avoid putting the family through trial. Family said they do not forgive what he did, but say he made the right decision to change his plea.

Neighbors say they still remember the crime 2 1/2 years later.

Neighbor Dee Dee Maynard remembers the party. "I get sick to my stomach. I was awakened by cars. It sounded like there was a race going on."

Others, like Russell Boham, remember the crime scene. "I walked out to get the newspaper and I came back in and I said, 'there's yellow tape across the road down there'."

They learned shortly after that all of this happened after their neighbors, Mary Jo and Blake were killed. The blame immediately went to their son, Tyler.

Those that knew the family say there's still only one reason that they think Hadley would hurt his parents. "The family was a good family, and he was a good kid. I think it had to be drug related."

But whatever the reason, the neighborhood still feels the impact of Hadley's decision, saying there is still a stigma on Grandeur Avenue where the crime happened. "Even when I give people my address, they know," Maynard said.

The home, still listed as belonging to Mary Jo and Blake, now sits vacant and run down, and serves as a daily reminder for neighbors driving by of the violence that happened there.

"Every time I drive by, it's like Rest in Peace," said neighbor Shawn Peek.

Hadley's grandparents were in court Wednesday, emotional, watching Hadley change his plea.

Neighbors say they're glad to see him taking some responsibility to relieve some of the family's grief, "but, unfortunately, it's too little too late," said Boham.


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