Desiree Tedder indicted on first degree murder charge

By Douglas McCulloch | Jul 19, 2017

A grand jury in Florida has indicted 23-year-old Dartmouth resident Desiree Tedder for first degree murder as the process to return her to the southern state moves forward.

Tedder, accused of murdering 23-year-old Drulmauert Mims as he slept in her grandmother’s home in Pensacola, Florida, is currently being held without bail in Massachusetts on a fugitive from justice warrant. The warrant was issued after Florida prosecutors initially charged her with second degree murder on June 28.

The grand jury handed down its first degree murder indictment on July 18, according to Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille in Florida.

First degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence or the death penalty in Florida. Under Florida law, prosecutors must decide whether they will pursue the death penalty within 45 days of Tedder’s arraignment in Florida, which has yet to happen as the extradition process is still in progress, Marcille said.

In the meantime, the case will be presented to a panel of five officials within the state attorney’s office, who will determine if the death penalty should be pursued. Once she is arraigned, the decision will be filed in court.

Tedder did not waive extradition at a court hearing on July 5. Because she did not voluntarily choose to be returned to the southern state, a lengthy formal process began to compel Massachusetts officials to return Tedder to Florida. The state attorney’s office completed the process of filing for a governor's warrant, and it was approved by Florida Governor Rick Scott.

The request was sent to the governor’s office in Massachusetts for review on July 13, Marcille said. Once approved by Massachusetts officials, paperwork will be sent to the Bristol County House of Correction where she is being held to process her return to Florida.

“Her extradition could happen as shortly as the next several weeks,” Marcille said. “The deadline is September 26,” 90 days after her arrest in Massachusetts, he said.

Tedder is accused of beating Mims with a crowbar, stabbing him, and suffocating him while he slept in her grandmother’s home, according to court documents.

The accusations come from Lizmary Rodriguez, also 23, who was allegedly in the bedroom with Mims at the time, she told police.

She alleged Tedder moved Mims' body into a trash can, placed it outside, and later buried it in the backyard of her grandmother's Pensacola home, and cleaned the room and mattress of blood, according to court documents.

Mims’ body was discovered buried behind the home on June 28.

A man Tedder texted after the murder told police Tedder forced Rodriguez to help clean up and move the body or she would be killed too, but he said Rodriguez did not have anything to do with the murder, according to court documents.

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