ASTORIA — A Queens man pleaded guilty Wednesday to beating his wife to death with a baseball bat as she slept in their Astoria home.
Jordan Hawes fled the city after killing his 33-year-old wife, Tara Hawes, on Jan. 30 — but not before he pawned her wedding rings and used her ATM card to withdraw cash, prosecutors said.
The Brooklyn teacher's body was found in bed on Feb. 2 along with a baseball bat covered in what appeared to be blood, skin and hair.
Jordan Hawes, 32, was arrested several days later when his Jeep Liberty was spotted by police in Bridgeport, Conn.
His lawyer, Sanford Talkin, said his client pleaded guilty to manslaughter to avoid prolonging the pain of the judicial process.
"He accepts responsibility for his actions," said Talkin. "He didn't want to put his family or her family through any more pain."
Talkin declined to say why Hawes may have killed his wife.
A blood-stained note found in the couple's 30th Street apartment acknowledged he had "killed my best friend."
"Where to begin. My life has been great most of the time. I was raised perfectly by my mom and dad," the note read. "I don’t know what…happened last night, but my life is destroyed. I killed my best friend.”
Hawes, who faced a life sentence, is expected to get 25 years in prison when he is sentenced March 16 in the plea deal.
"This is a sad and tragic case in which a young woman's life was cut short for no reason by the man who she should have been able to trust more than anyone: her husband," Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement.
"Today’s guilty plea will spare the victim's family the anguish of having to sit through a trial. It also is a guarantee that the defendant will serve a lengthy term in prison."