Police: Man charged with murder after attacking mother with hammer

Jacob Chavers lived in Westside apartment with 72-year-old's body, JSO says

By Colette DuChanois - Web producer, Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man was arrested after police said he used a hammer to attack his 72-year-old mother, who died, and then continued to live in an apartment with her body, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced Thursday. 

Jacob Chavers, 42, is charged with murder. 

Officers were called Wednesday to the West Creek Apartments on 103rd Street, just west of Ricker Road, to conduct a well-being check. According to the Sheriff's Office, Chavers told police that his mother, Faye Janice Hay, was in the hospital.

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VIDEO: Man charged with murder after attacking mother with hammer, police say

Chavers then ran from the apartment and then officers found his mother's body inside, detectives said.

Investigators said a witness told them Chavers attacked his mother several times with a hammer and continued to live in the apartment while his mother's body was inside. 

The Sheriff's Office said Chavers was bitten when he was located by K-9 Sabo about 3 miles away from the complex on Shelby Lane, off Schindler Drive.

Police said at a media briefing Wednesday afternoon that two potential suspects, one of whom was identified by Hay's neighbors as her son, were taken downtown to be questioned, but it's unclear whether the other person, who neighbors said was a woman, was arrested. 

"It's just sad and disgusting," said Hay's neighbor and close friend Peggy Derring. 

It's unclear when Hay died, but Derring told News4Jax that she called 911 Wednesday after she hadn't seen Hay since Saturday. Derring said Hay would stay at her house from time to time to get away from her son.

"She was scared of him. She couldn't sleep very well," Derring said. "She would always go, 'You're such a blessing, Peggy. It's just so nice to have a place to come where you can just relax and not worry about anything.'"

Chavers was booked Wednesday into the Duval County jail. At his first appearance Thursday afternoon, he was ordered held without bond. Arraignment is set for Oct. 3.

According to Duval County court records, Chavers did some jail time after pleading guilty to panhandling and prescription drug possession charges stemming from a 2018 arrest and passing a bad check from a 2014 arrest. 

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