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Astoria husband charged in wife’s grisly murder

TimesLedger Newspapers

An Astoria man suspected in the beating death of his wife after a bloody note saying “I killed my best friend” was found in their apartment was returned to New York on murder charges Tuesday, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Jordan Hawes, 32, who lives at 30th Street and Newtown Avenue in Astoria, waived extradition after he was arrested in Connecticut Feb. 4 by the state police at a rest stop on Interstate 95 close to Bridgeport, where a 2008 Jeep Liberty belonging to his wife Tara Hawes was spotted, the DA said.

Hawes had a seizure that required hospitalization after his arrest but has since recovered, the DA said.

He is awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of murder, two grand larceny counts, two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of a weapon as of Tuesday afternoon press time, the DA said.

“The defendant is accused of savagely beating to death the woman whom he purportedly loved,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. “If convicted, her brutal and senseless death merits serious punishment.”

Tara, 33, worked as a special education teacher in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and had not been heard from since Jan. 30 at 9 p.m., the DA said. Messages had been sent from her phone and Jordan Hawes’ phone saying she would be absent from work during the next two days, although when a neighbor called her home telephone Feb. 1, Jordan Hawes claimed Tara had not come home from work, the DA said.

Law enforcement officers found her dead in the apartment she shared with Jordan Hawes Feb. 2 at around 10:30 p.m., Brown said. Tara Hawes had suffered blunt force trauma to her head and body and authorities also allegedly found two bloody knives and a baseball bat with blood, skin and hair, the DA said.

The authorities also found a bloody note reading in part, “I don’t know what ... happened last night, but my life is destroyed. I killed my best friend.”

Jordan Hawes allegedly was seen on security cameras and those in the neighborhood Jan. 31 and Feb. 2 pawning jewelry and trying to take money from multiple ATMs with Tara’s credit card, the DA said.

Authorities found Jordan Hawes after his cell phone was tracked to Connecticut Feb. 2.

Jordan Hawes faces up to 25 years to life in prison if found guilty , the DA said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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