Maleena Burgett, 15, left, and Mika Watson, right, comfort Kyla Millet, 15, center, as they look at a makeshift memorial in front of Gulf Breeze High School. (Bruce Graner/PNJ)
Gulf Breeze, Florida (PNJ) -- William Brandon Aydelott is a fresh-faced kid with sandy brown hair
and a passion for baseball. The typical boy next door to his Gulf Breeze
neighbors at the Crane Cove subdivision.
6-foot-3 and 189 pounds, Aydelott is big for 17. Big enough to pass for
the adult he'll be charged as in his mother's killing.
Gulf Breeze High School senior, known to most people as Brandon, is
accused of stabbing and bludgeoning Sharon Lynn Aydelott to death on
Renfroe, the teenager's baseball coach at Gulf Breeze High School, said
the Aydelotts were getting a divorce and that Brandon appeared to be
having a difficult time with the breakup.
He never expected what happened Tuesday night, however.
"We are just in shock and disbelief," Renfroe said.
Aydelott was found just inside the front door of her home in the 1100
block of Crane Cove Boulevard with a number of wounds and lacerations on
her hands, arms, face and neck, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office
said. She died of wounds sustained after being stabbed with kitchen
knives and being bludgeoned with a baseball bat. She was pronounced dead
on scene at 6:22 p.m.
A science teacher at Holley Navarre Middle School, Sharon Aydelott was admired by her students and well known by her neighbors.
been pretty devastating," Santa Rosa County Superintendent of Schools
Tim Wyrosdick said Thursday. "She was an amazing professional. She was
selfless and she was passionate about teaching. It was her love and her
life, and we will miss her greatly."
Crane Cove on Thursday, several people declined to discuss the
Christmas Eve tragedy and asked the media to respect the privacy of the
Aydelotts and their neighbors.
details of the events leading up to the attack still are trickling out.
What is known is that Brandon Aydelott was not living with his mother
at the time of the attack, and the two had argued earlier that day.
three hours after Sharon Adyelott was found in her home, Brandon
Aydelott was apprehended at another residence in Gulf Breeze. According
to the Sheriff's Office, he immediately confessed to killing his mother.
While discussing the incident, he "was calm," and "appeared to be
emotionless, other than giving a small smile a few times during the
interview," the arrest report said.
investigation is pretty much done," Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office
Public Information Officer Rich Aloy said. "We got a full confession, we
got the charges filed and we got him off the street."
Grand jury action
Attorney Bill Eddins said Thursday that Aydelott, who turns 18 on Feb.
22, would be charged as an adult, and that the state is seeking a charge
of premeditated first-degree murder. Aydelott will face life in prison.
Under Florida law, prosecutors cannot seek the death penalty because he
is not 18.
said if the grand jury indicts, the teenager will be moved out of
juvenile custody immediately and placed in a segregated section of an
of the overall nature of the crime, it is our conclusion the
circumstances were such that we should seek first-degree murder
charges," Eddins said.
Defender Bruce Miller said the 17-year-old is being held in a juvenile
detention facility and that investigators from the Public Defender's
Office are interviewing him about the specifics of the incident.
"We're going to have him evaluated to see what his mental state was before, during and after," Miller said.
is a juvenile, so we have to look at the circumstances around his
admission," Miller said. "He has certain rights, so we have to see was
he advised of his rights, did he waive his rights and was he of sound
mind to waive his rights?"
Eddins said that he did not think there would be any issues in admitting the teen's confession.
"Based on my review, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office has done an excellent job in the handling of this matter," he said.
said Aydelott had a bright future and was likely a candidate for a
college baseball scholarship because of his pitching skills.
The coach said the tall, rugged athlete never showed signs of aggression, even when calls on the field did not go his way.
Refroe said Aydelott's family was supportive of his baseball ambitions and often showed up to cheer him on at games.
said he hoped authorities would consider "all aspects" of Aydelott's
life and that he was disappointed to hear the teen would be charged as
school district has called in crisis counselors to help students. The
coach said he planned to meet with his baseball players today.
Aydelott's Facebook page, last updated in October, featured a picture
of his baseball team gathered in prayer on a baseball field.
mother frequently updated her Facebook page with pictures of bright
flowers. The page said she liked Joel Osteen Ministries, Carrie
Underwood, Taylor Swift and Adele.
Funeral services for Sharon Aydelott had not been announced Thursday afternoon.
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