BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — As the community mourns the death of a woman, murdered by her husband John Gardner, 64, documents have recently been released detailing the night their bodies were found, and a bit of the events leading up to it.
On Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, Gardner was arrested for the murder of his wife Jane Gardner, 58, found killed inside their Northwest Bakersfield home.
On Dec. 6, 2020, just before 5 a.m. Bakersfield Police Officers responded to a residence in which the fire department was already responding following reports of a male needing help.
Once officers arrived on the scene they received no response and forced entry into the residence to check the welfare of the occupants inside. Once inside the home, officers found John Gardner lying on the floor of his bedroom with a laceration to his wrist, apparently self-inflicted. Gardner's wife, Jane was found in their bed covered in blood, it was determined she was deceased. Homicide detectives did locate a hammer lying on the side of the bed and a razor blade on top of the dresser.
John Gardner was determined to be still alive and transferred to Kern Medical to receive treatment for his injuries.
While in the hospital, Gardner gave a voluntary statement of his version of events for the evening his wife was killed. According to documents, it was stated that Gardner and his wife were involved in a fight. While things did calm down later in the evening, in the middle of the night he didn't know what went wrong with his mind but he used a hammer to hit his wife in the head until she died.
Gardner later told doctors that he had taken an Ativan before the incident occurred, which made it easier for him to do.
Leading up to that tragic night, Gardner said he had been feeling different and wanted to leave his life. He had been dealing with feelings of wanting to kill himself. He told health workers he woke up that night and just felt miserable and wanted to kill himself. He also detailed how he hit his wife with a hammer at least six times, making sure she was knocked out before killing her.
Gardner said, "I know this is horrible," before continuing his story of the tragic events. Documents also detailed Gardner wanting to "go with" his wife in his attempt to take his own life. Documents also revealed Gardner had wished he died.
Apparently, according to documents and friends of Jane's, this hasn't been the only brush Gardner has had with domestic violence. In a supplemental report filed by an active investigator for the homicide, it was discovered that Gardner had been arrested a few years before for domestic violence.
As of Dec. 11, 2020, Gardner was arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of Jane Gardner.