• JSO: Wife was stabbed, placed in trunk of car at Southside home

    By: Action News Jax

    Updated:

    PHOTOS: Images from Jacksonville SWAT callout in Sandalwood

    JACKSONVILLE HOUSEWIFE KILLED: 9 things to know about the murder

    The man at the center of a SWAT standoff in Jacksonville admitted to killing his wife, according to police.

    Gerard Stewart, 45, is facing murder and evidence tampering charges.

    Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that his wife Julie Stewart's body was found in the trunk of a car at their Sandalwood home during a SWAT standoff on Friday.

    JSO says Gerard Stewart confessed to killing her during the standoff on Cavalry Boulevard.

    An arrest report added that Stewart reportedly killed his wife, placed her body in his car and then backed the car out onto the driveway so that police would have access to it. Stewart then went back into his home, JSO said. 

    Authorities say he stabbed her, wrapped her up in something and placed her body in the trunk. According to JSO, Gerard Stewart took pills in an attempt to kill himself before surrendering to police.

    Documents Action News Jax obtained show Julie Stewart filed for a divorce in April after 20 years of marriage.

    The couple has a young son together. 

    The divorce papers say Julie Stewart was a stay-at-home mom who made some money by walking dogs. 

    The document said Gerard Stewart worked at Honda of Gainesville.

    The document shows Julie Stewart was seeking majority time-sharing with their son, alimony and exclusive occupancy of their home.

    9:55 P.M. MONDAY UPDATE: The charges for the man involved in the SWAT standoff in Sandalwood on Friday have been upgraded to murder.

    ORIGINAL STORY:

    Jacksonville officers gathered evidence at a Sandalwood home Saturday, the day after a body was found during a SWAT callout.

    Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was called to the home on Cavalry Boulevard at 2:30 p.m. Friday after a man threatened to hurt himself and refused to come out of his house.

    Police and SWAT team members blocked the Sandalwood neighborhood for four hours before he surrendered.

    "He finally opened the door, came out and fell down to the ground by himself," Dorothy Farabee said.

    Police said the man was taken into custody and brought to a hospital.

    They said a body was found on the property during the standoff, but officers have not identified it or the man taken into custody.

    Court records show a man and woman who live at the home are going through a divorce and have a 9-year-old son. 

    "We’ve seen them playing catch outside. We never would have thought," Farabee said.

    JSO said the child was safe with family.

    A man with the same name as the listed homeowner -- the man neighbors tell Action News Jax was taken into custody -- was booked at the Duval County Jail Saturday on a tampering with evidence charge.

    Action News Jax reached out to JSO to try to confirm that the man in the jail log is the man who was taken into custody.

    "You don’t expect something like this in your neighborhood and we didn’t," neighbor Cal Walton said.

    He said he and the couple are original homeowners in the neighborhood and have lived there for almost 15 years.

    He said the man seemed happy the last time he spoke with him.

    "It was a little difficult to be out here working in the yard knowing that at one time or another on Saturday I could look across the way and see him doing the same thing," Walton said. "Cutting the grass. And hes not. There’s police cars out there."

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