A 32-year-old Astoria man will have the next 25 years to think about the last night he spent with his “best friend” — which happened to be the same night he beat her to death with a baseball bat as she slept in the apartment the couple shared.
Jordan Hawes, a now-former chef in Manhattan, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree manslaughter for the fatal January 31, beating of his wife, 33-year-old Tara Hawes, and today he was hit with a 25-year prison sentence.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says because of Hawes’ “swift guilty plea,” Tara Hawes’ parents will be spared the agony of having “to sit through a trial and listen to the details of her suffering.”
Tara Hawes’ body was found in the couple’s apartment at 26-80 30th
Street in the Astoria section of Queens on February 2, by Jordan Hawes’
parents, who dropped by to check on the couple after not hearing from
either of them in several days.
In addition to Tara Hawes’ badly beaten body, also found in the
apartment were two knives, some of her hair and skin, and a baseball bat
that was covered in blood.
Investigators also found a blood-soaked note, apparently written by Jordan Hawes.
Below is an excerpt from the note:
“Where to begin. My life has been great most of the time. I was
perfectly by my mom and dad, and I have learned so much from child…”
(the note then cut off and was missing a middle section. It continued by
stating, in part,) “I don’t know what . . . happened last night,
but my life is destroyed. I killed my best friend.”
Jordan Hawes, however, was nowhere to be found.
A few days after the murder, Hawes was seen by surveillance cameras
selling his wife’s wedding ring at an Astoria pawn shop. He also was
seen trying to use her ATM card.
Authorities finally caught up with Hawes on February 4, when police in
Connecticut spotted Tara Hawes’ 2008 Jeep Liberty in a McDonald’s
parking lot in Bridgeport. Jordan Hawes, who’d taken his wife’s vehicle,
surrendered in the parking lot without incident, telling authorities “I did something wrong. I surrender myself.”
It’s unclear what prompted Jordan Hawes to so viciously murder his wife.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 16, 2012