Stephanie Lynn Hudnall, a Gainesville area mother, and her daughter Guenevere Lynn Hudnall were arrested late Friday evening and charged with premeditated murder for the killing of family patriarch William Arnold Hudnall, age 51, who was found dead inside his home at 22118 SE 71st Avenue in Hawthorne on Wednesday morning after the women reported him dead.
According to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, 19 year old Guenevere confessed to delivering the fatal blows to her fathers head and chest with a pickaxe while he was sleeping in his bed because she and her mother wanted to collect social security death benefits in order to keep from losing their mobile home to foreclosure.
Sheriff’s Detective Sandra Myers’ incident report states that Stephanie Hudnall admitted to dropping her daughter Guenevere off on Wednesday evening so that once William Hudnall had fallen asleep, Guenevere went out onto the back porch of his home where she retrieved his pickaxe and carried it up to her fathers bedroom. Myers said that Guenevere admitted to using the pickaxe to hit her father in the head and chest several times.
“The victim [William Hudnall] continued to make noise so she [Guenevere Hudnall] struck him in the head with the axe until he was quiet to make sure he was dead,” Myers wrote in her arrest report. Myers said that interviews with the two women helped Sheriff’s Investigators to determine that Stephanie and Guenevere had previously discussed receiving government benefits if William Hudnall died and that Guenevere was willing to kill him if her mother Stephanie would drive her to his home. Sheriff’s Deputies say that William Hudnall was so brutally beaten he could only be identified by his dental records.
Some studies show (PDF) that the average cost to execute a death penalty prisoner runs about 3 million dollars and can take as much as 20 years or more to complete. Taxpayers in the State of Florida are going to pay to millions to prosecute and sentence these women even though they have confessed.
The Hudnall women were unemployed and facing foreclosure on their mobile home. At some point they determined that their best choice was to kill the father for his government check. Is it desperation or depravity that drove these women to commit murder? If they had jobs would Mr. Hundall still be alive?