Man charged with first-degree murder for stabbing and killing estranged wife in St. Johns County

Man accused of stabbing wife to death

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Anyone who needs help and can safely get away from their abuser is asked to call the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119 or Hubbard House in Jacksonville at (904) 354-3114.

A local man has been indicted on murder charges for allegedly stabbing his wife to death in a domestic dispute.

Derrek Wayne Perkins, 41 is accused of killing Brandi Brooker Perkins, 35 one day after she filed an injunction.

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“There’s been drama with them for a while,” says Stefan Alexander who worked with Brandi Brooker Perkins at the St. Mary’s Seafood Restaurant in St. Augustine and was one of the last people to see her alive.

“We all walked her out last night,” Alexander said. “He’s been parking around here and we had to make sure he wasn’t here when she left.”

According to the arrest report on Tuesday night, Brandi was driven home by a friend to a home on Irving Street near Hastings. She got out when she thought it was safe but then was confronted by Perkins on the porch. Witnesses say she yelled “help me” multiple times before dying from multiple stab wounds.

“It’s very disturbing,” says Dr. Jennifer Wesely, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at UNF.

Just four days prior to the murder, Perkins was accused of trying to run Brandi over in a gas station parking lot just steps from her work.

Then on the day of the murder, witnesses tell deputies Perkins walked into the restaurant and took Brandi’s purse with $500 inside.

Wesely says domestic violence prevention starts with education and awareness

“By the time it gets to this point, we are dealing with the criminal justice system - it’s already happened,” Wesely said.

Action News Jax first told you in April, that Sheriff Mike Williams said there has been a 20 -percent spike in domestic violence calls during the pandemic, primarily from people spending more time together.

“What are you going to miss the most about Brandi,” asked Action News Jax Ben Becker. “Having her around she was always cracking jokes having a good time,” Alexander said.