Florida man pleads guilty to killing wife, putting body in trunk after she asked for divorce
04/01/2022 2:10 pm PDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (TCD) -- A 49-year-old man pleaded guilty this week to killing his wife and putting her body in the trunk of his car after she asked for a divorce.
The State Attorney's Office for Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida announced Gerard Stewart entered the plea March 29, for the death of his wife Julie Ann Stewart. He was reportedly previously convicted of tampering with evidence, but WJXT-TV reports a jury deadlocked on murder charges in February.
According to the State Attorney's Office, Gerard Stewart reportedly told a neighbor he "had killed his own wife and placed her body in the trunk of his car." When law enforcement officials arrived, Stewart reportedly pulled his car out of the garage and entered his home. The Florida Times-Union reports an hours-long standoff with SWAT ensued when Stewart went inside, and officials were able to get his 9-year-old son out.
He reportedly told deputies he stabbed his wife two or three times, but an autopsy report showed Julie had 13 stab wounds. Her throat had reportedly been cut, too.
Stewart reportedly told investigators Julie "was going to take everything, including their son, from him in their upcoming divorce."
After he stabbed her, he Stewart wrapped Julie's body in trash bags and placed them in his trunk. The State Attorney's Office said Stewart "knew of his wife’s plans several days before the crime."
According to the Florida Times-Union, the Stewarts had been married for 20 years. Julie reportedly filed for divorce less than two months before she was killed.
The State Attorney's Office said Stewart could face life in prison.
- STEWART PLEADS GUILTY TO SECOND-DEGREE MURDER OF WIFE - State Attorney's Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit
- Jury deadlocks on first-degree murder charge for man whose wife was found in trunk in 2018, 2/12/2022 - WJXT
- Jacksonville man pleads guilty in wife's stabbing death as trial was set to begin; she was divorcing him - Florida Times-Union
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