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Judge upholds two life sentences for Tyler Hadley

Hadley killed parents with claw hammer in 2011
Posted at 5:00 PM, Dec 19, 2018

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — A St. Lucie County judge on Thursday upheld two life sentences for Tyler Hadley, who killed both of his parents in 2011 when he was a teenager.

Hadley’s defense had pushed for only a 40-year concurrent sentence.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Tyler Hadley apologizes for killing parents | Family reacts to Hadley's apology | Hadley: I laughed after killing parents

Hadley, now 25, used a claw hammer to kill his parents, Mary Jo and Blake, when he was 17-years-old.

In 2014, a judge sentenced him to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

But Florida's 4th District Court of Appeal overturned that sentence and ordered a resentencingsaying "the trial court did not consider the correct alternative to a life sentence."

READ: 4th District Court of Appeal's Ruling in Tyler Hadley case

Several of Tyler Hadley’s family members attended Thursday’s hearing and sided with the judge and prosecutors to imprison Hadley for life.

The Hadley family said they are relieved with the judge's decision.

"(The judge) made the correct decision. We're satisfied with it. We want to just move on with our lives and get past all of this," said Michael Hadley, Blake Hadley's brother. "It's been difficult, it took a lot of pain on us. A lot of pain and a lot of stress. We don't go one day without thinking about Blake and Mary Jo. Not a day."

"There has to be finality. This has to be it. We cannot tolerate another resentencing of this nature. It's simply unfair to the victims,” said Chief Asst. State Attorney Tom Bakkedahl.

"(I) feel like I've been through another funeral, and I'm tired of these funerals. It's like the third one with this case, so we're hoping that there's no appeal and that we don't have to do this again," said Michael Hadley.

The sentencing includes an automatic review after 25 years, which started from the time he was first arrested in 2011. That is when a judge will determine if the life terms are still appropriate based on Hadley’s conduct and behavior in prison and whether or not his sentence should be reduced.

"There's absolutely a chance that in 25 years somebody will be back here in this courtroom, and we'll be doing this all over again," said Bakkedahl.