Husband confesses to killing South Windsor mom, affidavit says; medical examiner rules death as homicide

Hartford

MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — The affidavit for the arrest of Tahj Hutchinson, husband of South Windsor mom Jessica Edwards, was released by South Windsor police Monday.

Hutchinson, 22, was arrested Friday night and was charged with manslaughter in connection to her death. Hutchinson faced a judge in Manchester Monday.

Police said he confessed to killing Edwards, but after he changed his story several times.

The medical examiner says the cause of Edwards’ death was asphyxia due to compression of the neck and chest; they ruled her death as a homicide.

In the arrest warrant affidavit released Monday, South Windsor detectives said Hutchinson confessed to pinning Edwards’ to the floor and kneeling on her back and neck until she stopped moving and died.

Investigators believe Hutchinson intended to cause serious physical injury. Police provided a full affidavit that supports their reasoning to seek the arrest of Hutchinson and charge him with manslaughter.

This all happened the Monday morning after Mother’s Day, – the first Mother’s Day Edwards celebrated as a mother herself – and after a weekend of arguing and a morning of fighting.

Police say Hutchinson took 16 minutes to drag and bury Jessica’s body in East Hartford woods Monday night before driving to the East Hartford police station to report her missing. They say he had no shoes on when he came to the station and later admitted to taking off his muddy shoes after disposing of her body.

Police say Jessica’s sister saw Hutchinson leave South Windsor in his Jeep Cherokee on that Monday night with what appeared to be a body under a blanket in the trunk.

Police say Hutchinson lived with his wife’s body inside the home for about a day along with the couple’s 7-month-old baby before relatives realized she was missing and initiated a massive search.

Read the full affidavit below:

Police said Hutchinson cooperated with investigators looking into Edwards’ disappearance. Edwards’ body was found on East Hartford on Friday afternoon.

She had been missing for nearly two weeks. Edwards was a young mother to a 7-month-old child; the couple’s baby is safe with relatives.

South Windsor police and state police conducted numerous searches: three cars, a condo, a house, and wooded areas were all part of the investigation. Family and members of the community conducted searches as well. Ultimately, police said they were able to track a cell phone.

Loved ones and the community held a vigil to honor Edwards Saturday in South Windsor.

Hutchinson appeared via video link in court Monday as members of Edwards’ family and domestic violence advocates looked on.

Advocate and family representative Keren Prescott read an emotional statement pleading for Hutchinson to be held without bond: “This is the behavior of a monster, a narcissist, a vile and vicious and cruel – I can’t even call him a human being…He should be denied bail the same way he denied the truth when he said JE got into a car with someone he never saw before. TJ should be denied bail the same way his baby boy is denied growing up with his beautiful mother.”

And after court, Edwards’ sister Yanique had a message for the hundreds of volunteers who helped search for Edwards over the last few weeks: “I just want to thank everyone for coming out and showing my family so much support since the beginning of the search.”

Monday evening, Hartford State’s Attorney Sharmese L. Walcott released a statement saying,

“On behalf of the Hartford State’s Attorney’s Office, I would like to extend my condolences to Jessica Edwards’ family on their tragic loss and commend them for not giving up on their unbelievably painful search for Jessica. The investigation into the homicide of Jessica is ongoing and the prosecution of this case will be handled by both me and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Diaz. My office is committed to providing justice for Jessica’s family and making sure the person responsible for this heinous crime is held fully accountable for his actions.”

Hutchinson is being held on a $1.5-million bond. We’re told he has no past criminal history and police have never been called to his home with Edwards.

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