Citrus County investigators say a man murdered his ex-girlfriend with a sword, then ran her over with his truck. It’s the deadly ending to their brutal break-up that deputies say winds up with the accused killer in a neighbor's pool in his underwear.
The crime had the community on edge Sunday night as deputies searched for the accused killer.
Monday night, 41-year-old Eric Huffman's behind bars without bond. Deputies say he confessed to the sword-stabbing of his ex-girlfriend, Brandi Blevins, 42.
A roommate watched the murder unfold and called 911 as the violence continued. The 28-minute call for help is so heart-wrenching, 10News is only sharing a small portion of it.
David Jirkovsky and his wife came face-to-face with Eric Huffman hiding out in their backyard.
“He was standing at the front right of my car, when I walked out the door, my wife had already started screaming,” says Jirkovsky. “I didn't know he had just murdered somebody.”
Investigators say an hour earlier, just one street away, Huffman stabbed Blevins with a large sword. He’s accused of slashing her so badly that Blevins died at the foot of the front stairs.
The accused killer and victim share Huffman’s home with his previous ex-girlfriend, who witnessed the unthinkable. Investigators say first, the sword-stabbing, then after they believe Blevins was already dead say Huffman ran her over with his truck.
The witness is so traumatized on the 911 call. 10News is sharing some of it to help tell the story, but don't want to victimize her again.
“Did he try to run you over in the truck,” the dispatcher asks.
“He was coming towards me. I saw the headlights come my way and I ran up the stairs. He ran right over her,” the witness says.
“Just lock all the doors and windows, and don't let anyone in until the deputies get there,” the dispatcher tells her.
“Okay, he broke a bunch of windows out earlier, that's why the cops came,” says the witness.
Deputies tell 10News they had been called out to the home earlier in the day when the previous ex-girlfriend, who witnessed the attack, told him she was moving out.
“I didn't feel the same towards him, and he just started freaking out and throwing stuff,” says the witness.
The sheriff’s office says since Huffman broke the windows on his own home and took off before they got there, there was nothing more they could do, then. They never imagined the tragedy yet to come.
“I don't know how you get into that frame of mind where he would actually kill someone like that, and run her over after she's already been stabbed. It’s terrible,” says a neighbor who only wanted to be identified as Mary.
Jirkovsky says when Huffman showed up in his backyard, he seemed impaired. Huffman had already stripped down to his underwear and got into the neighbor's pool, investigators believe to wash off Blevins' blood.
“No clothes just a pair shorts on, standing there. He was talking, but it was it was like he was talking in tongues. You couldn't understand anything he said,” says Jirkovsky.
The Jirkovskys called 911, and deputies caught Huffman right down the street.
“He's going to be away for a long time,” says Jirkovsky.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office issued an Alert Citrus notification to neighbors within a one-mile radius asking them to lock their doors, to be on the lookout for an armed subject, and to call 9-1-1 if they saw anyone suspicious.
"First and foremost - our thoughts and prayers are with those who were impacted by this horrible crime," says Sheriff Mike Prendergast. "This is a perfect example of why Alert Citrus is such an important tool for our agency. We captured this extremely dangerous man quickly because we were able to warn nearby residents immediately."
Click on "Sign up for Alert Citrus" to get free emergency notifications sent right to your cell phone. Sign up for Alert Citrus here.