Dartmouth woman allegedly beat, stabbed, suffocated man in Florida

By Douglas McCulloch | Jul 12, 2017

A Dartmouth woman wanted for murder in Florida allegedly beat, stabbed, and suffocated a man over drugs and money, according to court documents released this week in an effort to return her to the southern state.

Desiree Tedder, 23, is charged with second degree murder in the March death of 23-year-old Drulmauert Mims of Pensacola, Florida. Tedder was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant at her mother's Dartmouth home on June 28. She is currently being held without bail in Massachusetts.

Tedder did not waive extradition in an appearance at New Bedford District Court on July 5. Because she did not voluntarily choose to be returned to the southern state, Florida officials must now go through a formal legal process to have her returned. The newly released documents are contained in an extradition packet prepared by Florida State Attorney’s Office as part of that process.

According to the newly released documents, Lizmary Rodriguez, who was allegedly with Tedder in Florida at the time of the murder, told investigators during an interview that Tedder murdered Mims while she and Mims were asleep at Tedder’s grandmother’s house at 12 Sullivan Road in Pensacola.

Rodriguez told police Tedder struck Mims in the face with a crowbar multiple times, then stabbed him with a kitchen knife and suffocated him using a pillow until he was unresponsive.

According to Rodriguez, Tedder then used household cleaning products to clean the bedroom, cut a hole in a mattress that contained a blood stain, and moved Mims’ body into a trash can and placed it outside. Rodriguez said Tedder buried the trash can containing the body in the backyard of  Tedder's grandmother’s home several days later, after Mims’ family members asked about his whereabouts, according to the documents.

According to the documents, Rodriguez told investigators that Tedder murdered Mims, a drug dealer, because she was tired of not having any money, and killed Mims for his drugs and money.

Tedder’s cell phone was taken as evidence after she and Rodriguez showed up at Saint Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford with gunshot wounds on April 7. Rodriguez said the pair received the wounds several days prior in Florida. Tedder was charged with drug possession and an outstanding felony warrant after hospital security discovered marijuana, Xanax, and a bag of pills suspected to be Ecstasy allegedly belonging to Tedder.

According to prior interviews detailed in court documents, police were told Mims was known to sell marijuana, Ecstasy, and Xanax.

At 7:34 a.m. on March 30, Tedder sent a text message to a phone number tied to Massachusetts that asked, “U think none will hear it fo?_?.” Several days later, a text message was sent by that number advising Tedder not to answer that question to avoid incriminating herself. The exchange was deleted from her phone, but was recovered through forensic software, according to court documents.

Police interviewed a man who responded to an inquiry left on that phone number. He told police Rodriguez told him that Tedder killed Mims, and that Rodriguez was not involved in the murder but was forced by Tedder to help move the body, or she would be killed too, according to court documents.

Tedder was detained and questioned by New Bedford and Florida police before her June 28 arrest. During questioning, she said Mims arrived at her grandmother’s house before midnight on March 29, stayed over during the night, and left before noon on March 30, but did not return.

Police asked Tedder about content discovered on her cell phone. Her phone allegedly contained text messages sent to a neighbor about borrowing a trash barrel, and undated Internet searches about firearm silencers, including whether or not a pillow or a plastic bottle could be used to muffle a gunshot, according to court documents.

Tedder told police that she intended to borrow the trash barrel to do yard work in preparation for hurricane season, and the searches occurred while she was watching a show on TV, but she could not remember which one. She said she was also digging in the yard to fix a fence post.

When asked if she killed Mims out of self-defense, Tedder said no, according to court documents.

Tedder requested a lawyer, the interview was ended, and she was released. She was arrested on the felony warrant later that day, following the discovery of Mims' body, according to the documents.

In an interview on July 5, prior to the release of the new court documents, Tedder's attorney, John J. Connors, said there were many unknowns in her case he was seeking answers to, including how Florida officials connected Tedder to Mims’ death. She also needs established representation in Florida, he said.

If the extradition request is approved by officials in Florida, the Florida State Attorney's Office will send the documents to Massachusetts’ attorney general to begin the extradition process.

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