A word of warning: This story is not for the faint of heart. Or even the lionhearted.
A Gulf Breeze (Fla.) High senior pitcher smiled as he confessed to murdering his mother with a baseball bat and a kitchen knife on Christmas Eve, police told reporters.
Amid rumors of drugs and divorce, William "Brandon" Aydelott, 17, potentially faces life in prison for what police called a "very brutal, very heinous" crime, according to reports from the Pensacola Journal, Miami Herald and First Coast News.
"I know what he did was completely wrong, and a lot of people are attributing it to, ‘He was crazy’ or ‘He was on drugs,’ but he was honestly so nice and smart, and a star baseball player," Aydelott's classmate, Kaylen Reynolds, told the Journal. "It just completely shocked me. I could never be able to picture him doing anything like that."
According to the reports, Aydelott's relationship with his mother, Sharon, a science teacher and cross country coach at nearby Holley-Navarre (Fla.) Middle School, had been strained over his parents' divorce proceeding, so the teen had been living with a friend.
A family friend found Sharon at home in a pool of blood with her throat slashed and a knife protruding from her eye, the Northwest Florida Daily News reported. Police found Aydelott at his friend's house, and he later allegedly confessed with a smile on his face.
"It was very brutal, very heinous," Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Rich Aloy told First Coast News. "Brutal is the only way to describe it. … This was a horrible situation. It really was. The whole block was outside, the whole family was there. You always hate to see something like this happen, but especially on Christmas Eve."
A 6-foot-3, 189-pound senior right-handed pitcher, Aydelott had been garnering scholarship interest from Division I colleges, Gulf Breeze baseball coach Randy Renfroe told the Miami Herald. He added, "We are just in shock and disbelief."
Meanwhile, students gathered at Gulf Breeze High to pay their respect to Sharon Aydelott and Brandon's classmate William "Cody" Goodman, who was reportedly killed by a Pensacola police officer after a high-speed chase within hours of the popular teacher and cross country coach's murder. According to the Pensacola Journal, one cross country supporter left a shoe with a message of love to Sharon written on the sole.
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