Teen who brutally stabbed his father's girlfriend more than 60 times sentenced to life in prison
Donovan Nichols has said for the past two years that it was his alternate personality, 'Jeff', who had killed Heidi Taylor.
A teenager from Ohio has been found guilty of murdering his father's longtime and live-in girlfriend. The now 16-year-old Donovan Nichols has been sentenced to at least 28 years in prison as of July 24. Nick Selvaggi, the Champaign County Common Pleas Judge, sentenced the teen to life behind bars with no chance of parole for the next 25 years. The boy has also been given a mandatory three years in prison because he had used a gun to kill 40-year-old Heidi Taylor back in April 2017. This means that Nichols will have to serve a minimum of 28 years in jail before he becomes eligible for parole.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that the jury in the court found the teenager to be guilty of murder and aggravated murder on July 18. Nichols had been 14-years-old at the time of the murder and he has since maintained that he was innocent. He has said for the past two years that it was his alternate personality, "Jeff", who had killed Taylor.
Judge Selvaggi, on the other hand, was not falling for the split personality story and said in the court on July 24 that the teen harbored resentment and anger towards Taylor. Nicholas had referred to her as his mother and had allegedly decided to kill her brutally after she had confiscated his cell phone to stop him from contacting his girlfriend. According to the prosecutors, the teen had hidden behind a door at his father's place in Valley Pike on April 6, 2017, and had attacked Taylor with a knife when she came down the stairs.
The report from the coroner said that said that Taylor had been stabbed more than 60 times. From her injuries and the amount of blood found all over the house, it has been alleged that Taylor fought back and ran up the stairs but Nichols chased her. He managed to grab a gun from his father's nightstand and finally shot Taylor in the head. He then called 911 and said that his alternate personality, "Jeff", had been the one who killed Taylor. The authorities said that the alternate personality had been modeled after an internet horror character known as "Jeff the Killer".
According to the 911 audio, Nichols had told the dispatcher, "I just killed my mother. I just killed my mother and I need to go to the hospital. This is going to be really hard to explain but I kind of have another person inside me. I hate Jeff so much... he is going to make me die in prison. It wasn’t me who killed her. It was Jeff. I’m sorry, this will come out really hard to explain."
When the responding officers arrested Nichols outside the house, he told the officers again that it had been "Jeff" who had killed Taylor. He told them that "Jeff snapped" because he had allegedly been tired of his father's girlfriend and that she allegedly used drugs. The teen told the officers that he went to school for the day and had been cleaning his room when "Jeff" took over.
The authorities went inside the home and saw blood everywhere from the living room to the kitchen and up the rear stairs off the kitchen and finally into the bedroom where Taylor had taken her last breath. A blood-stained knife was recovered from the home, along with a pistol that was found in the bedroom.
Though the court hearing consisted of drama about the split personality, it mostly focused on Taylor. Her daughter Alyssa Nicholas who was also presented at the hearing said, that she was a devoted mother and grandmother.
Alyssa had written a letter that her friend had read out loud in court. And mentioned that even though she and Donovan don’t share blood, she’s known him since he was born.
“Donovan Nicholas was my brother,” she wrote. And as her friend read the statement, Alyssa sobbed at the part where she told the judge how Alyssa’s young daughters don’t only mourn their grandmother, but also the loss of the uncle they loved.
“I worry once they know the details of this crime,” she wrote, “that they will lose whatever positivity they have for humanity.” She even added that she doesn’t think she ever wants her brother to be released from prison as, “He can never be trusted again.”