• Housewife killed in Jacksonville: 9 things to know

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    PHOTO GALLERY: Images from the scene of Jacksonville SWAT callout

    Gerard Stewart, 45, is facing murder and evidence tampering charges after a SWAT standoff that lasted over four hours on June 15 at a Jacksonville home. 

    After Stewart was taken into custody, his wife Julie’s body was found in the trunk of a car at their Sandalwood home

    The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says Gerard Stewart confessed to killing her. 

    Here’s nine things we know about the couple:

    1. Gerard Stewart needed medical treatment after barricading himself in his house. 

    A SWAT team blocked Cavalry Blvd. on the Southside for four hours after Stewart threatened to harm himself and refused to come out of his house on June 15, police said.

    Officers say he took pills in an attempt to kill himself before surrendering. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. His mugshot, released Tuesday, showed an injury to Gerard Stewart’s left eye. 

    2. The couple had been married for 20 years, but were going through a divorce. 

    Julie Stewart filed for divorce from her husband, Gerard, in April of this year.

    According to divorce papers filed in Duval County, the two still lived together in the same house in Cavalry Blvd. in Jacksonville. They were married in April 1998. 

    3. Julie Stewart worked as a dog walker. Her husband was a manager at a Honda dealership. 

    Julie Stewart quit work to stay home and take care of the couple's son after his birth, according to divorce papers.

    She said in the divorce filing that she needed to borrow money to pay her divorce attorney and was asking her husband to pay the legal fees.

    4. Julie Stewart was also asking for alimony. 

    The divorce papers said that Julie Stewart “earns a small amount of income from her dog-walking service …. she is without sufficient funds to maintain herself in the standard of living established during the marriage.

    Gerard Stewart earns a “substantial income,” the papers said. 

    5. Julie Stewart wanted to remain in the family home with their 9-year-old son. 

    “The wife is in need of exclusive use and occupancy [of the house], its furnishings and contents in order to maintain herself and properly care for the parties’ minor child,” the divorce papers said. 

    6. JSO said Julie Stewart was stabbed and placed in the family’s vehicle. 

    Police said Julie Stewart was found wrapped in something in the trunk of a car. Gerard Stewart had called police on June 15 and said he had gotten into a fight with his wife. 

    In a police report, JSO said Stewart placed his wife's body in the trunk of his car -- which was stored in the garage -- and that Stewart backed the car onto his driveway so that JSO could access it. 

    7. The couple’s home remained taped off days after the SWAT standoff. 

    The upscale home in the Kernan Lakes subdivison was tidy and well-kept. A newer-model Toyota Highlander was in the driveway, and a newer-model Honda Accord was parked in front of the house. 

    8. Gerard Stewart is now facing upgraded charges. 

    Stewart is facing murder charges and tampering with evidence charges. Records show that Stewart had no criminal record in Duval County other than traffic citations. 

    9. The murder shocked neighbors, who said the couple had lived in the neighborhood for 15 years. 

    Neighbors told Action News Jax that the couple were among original homeowners in the Richmond Place neighborhood.

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

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

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