A Jacksonville man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after he was charged with stabbing his wife to death and putting her body in the trunk of his car before attempting to take his own life in 2018, according to the state attorney general.
Gerard Stewart was previously found guilty of tampering with evidence in the stabbing death of Julie Ann Stewart.
On June 15, 2018, a neighbor of the Stewarts called the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office saying Stewart told him he had killed his wife and placed her body in the trunk of his car.
When law enforcement and first responders arrived to the 2200 block of Cavalry Boulevard, Stewart pulled his car out of the garage, exited the vehicle and went inside his home, court documents state.
Stewart had ingested a large number of pills in an attempt to end his life, according to an arrest affidavit.
After a SWAT standoff lasting several hours, Stewart was taken into custody and transported to UF Health for observation under the Baker Act.
Stewart went on to inform officers that he killed his wife by stabbing her two to three times.
However, an autopsy revealed 13 wounds, including her throat being cut.
In April, Julie Stewart had filed for divorce and Gerard Stewart told police she said she was going to take everything, including their 9-year-old son.
Stewart went on to inform the police how after killing his wife, he then proceeded to wrap her body inside trash bags secured with tape and placed her in the trunk of his vehicle, per court documents.
The investigation went on to reveal text messages that showed Stewart knew of his wife’s plans several days before the crime, the state attorney’s office said.
Stewart reportedly faces up to life in prison. A judge will schedule a sentencing hearing for Stewart at a later date.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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