FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – The girlfriend of a 19-year-old stabbed to death early Monday morning has received backlash on social media, with many people pointing the finger of blame her way, after police announced the victim had been "feuding over a girl" with the 22-year-old man accused of killing him.
Thomas Clyde Erdmann was found on the driveway of his grandmother's home on Tarpon Avenue about 3:25 a.m. after an argument turned into a violent confrontation, investigators said. Erdmann was taken to Baptist Nassau, then transferred to UF Health Jacksonville, where he died.
The Fernandina Beach police have charged Zachary Fila, of Yulee, with Erdmann's murder.
Hailey Hutto, Erdmann's girlfriend, told News4Jax Wednesday that the past 48 hours have been the hardest of her life. Since the incident, Hutto said, she has been blamed for something out of her control.
"I woke up to everyone calling my phone. Everyone calling me and texting me and asking about Tommy and I didn't know. No one filled me in on anything," Hutto said. "It's been hard because everyone is pointing the finger at me like it's my fault. And it's not my fault."
Hutto explained she and her boyfriend "Tommy" never broke up, but only had an argument Sunday evening, just hours before he was fatally stabbed. She said she then walked off to call her close friend, Fila, to tell him what happened and was then picked up by her mother.
"Zach was not there. I called him and I talked to him because he had a missed call from me and that was whenever I was walking down the road crying before she picked me up. There were no words being said, like, 'I hate Tommy.' Nothing was being said to make him do what happened," Hutto said. "I was venting to him about what was going on."
The 22-year-old said her boyfriend and Fila had their own issues.
"Him and Tommy had their own opinions of each other. And like I said, I can't control their minds. I can't tell them what to do," Hutto said. "Zach and Tommy, they were not friends and I was Tommy's girlfriend. And whatever went on between Tom and Zach with their own problem and it was their own problem and I couldn't control that."
Hutto said she never thought this would happen. Just like Erdmann's family, she said, she's hurting too.
"I miss him just as much as everyone else, and I had a bond with him that no one else had," Hutto said. "It hurts to have have my name put on my boyfriend's death. That he's dead. It's not fair."
Hutto and her mother said they have spoken with detectives, but they are not part of the investigation.
"To know your baby is hurting and there's nothing you can do to take it away is the worst feeling," said Misty Hutto, her mother.
Investigators did take her cellphone to check time stamps, Hutto said.
Fila has been ordered held without bond pending a Jan. 5 arraignment.