Heidi Fay Taylor died after enduring more than five dozen stab wounds and one fatal shot to the head. Now, the teenage boy convicted of murdering her in their rural Ohio home claims he’s innocent.
“I am so scared. I didn’t want to kill her,” Donovan Nicholas, then 14, told an emergency dispatcher on April 6, 2017.
Nicholas blamed an alternate personality — one modeled after the fictional horror character “Jeff the Killer” — on the slaying. “Before we distinctly split, I liked Jeff the Killer, I was obsessed with Jeff the Killer,” he told Judge Nick Selvaggio on Tuesday. “Jeff became a problem when he started doing things I didn’t want him to do — destroying my room, stabbing walls.”
Taylor, 40, wasn’t the teen’s biological mother but had been his father’s longtime, live-in girlfriend. He called her “mom.”
“She was a mother figure in my life … I’ll always love her for that,” Nicholas said. “But Jeff didn’t view her as that. He viewed that she was being a problem.”
Despite his plea, Selvaggio wasn’t buying it. Instead, he called the crime “calculated, brutal, and callous.”
Taylor had taken Nicholas’ cell phone away when she discovered he was sexting with an out-of-state girlfriend. Selvaggio added that while the cell phone may have put him over the edge, his resentment towards her had been brewing for years.
As a result, Nicholas was convicted as an adult for aggravated murder and sentenced to life in prison. He will be eligible for parole after 28 years.
During the sentencing, Taylor’s daughter Alyssa Nicholas said she never wants to see her brother step foot outside of prison. “He can never be trusted again.”