breaking news

Clark County teacher deadly hit-and-run: Victim’s family wants justice

Champaign County 8th-grade murder suspect could be tried as adult


Champaign County prosecutors have requested to try the eighth-grade student accused of killing his dad’s girlfriend as an adult.

Prosecutors considered the seriousness of the alleged crimes of Donovan Nicholas, 14, as well as “the deliberate and premeditated nature of the offenses alleged and the available sanctions and penalties available in the juvenile system,” according to a statement from Prosecutor Kevin Talebi.

Nicholas has been charged with both murder and aggravated murder for the killing of 40-year-old Heidi Fay Taylor, according to court documents. He appeared in court on Wednesday for a pre-trial hearing.

He’s accused of stabbing and shooting Taylor, records show. It’s believed the teen would have attempted to flee the scene if not for a leg injury, Talebi has said.

RELATED: 8th-grade murder suspect’s revealing 9-1-1 call: Read full transcript

Nicholas stabbed himself in the leg during the struggle with Taylor, court records say.

In a 911 call to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, Nicholas blames the killing on an alternate personality named Jeff.

“This is going to be really hard to explain, but I kind of have another person inside me,” Nicholas can be heard saying in the call. “…I swear it wasn’t me. It was Jeff. Jeff is inside me.”

The teen’s attorney, Darrell Heckman, said he will resist the prosecutor’s request to bind the case over to adult court. He previously requested a competency evaluation to determine if Nicholas is able to stand trial.

“There are mental health issues in this case, and that’s just being thorough,” Heckman said.

Nicholas has no medical history of mental health issues, he said.

RELATED: Prosecutor alleges Champaign County 8th grader planned murder

“I can say that Donovan has never had any mental health issues that have required treatment prior to this time,” he said.

A doctor is scheduled to meet and evaluate Nicholas on Thursday, Champaign County Juvenile Court Judge Lori Reisinger said in court.

Multiple hearings will be held to determine if Nicholas’ case will be bound over, Talebi said. It’s ultimately the juvenile court judge’s decision.

Talebi also has met with the victim’s family members and deputies, he said.

“I’ve spoken to [Taylor’s] two adult children and…they’re obviously very concerned and they’re obviously very upset about having lost their mother,” Talebi said. “And they want to be involved in the process, and I expect them to continue to be involved in the process.”

Talebi said he hasn’t met Nicholas, but, “I don’t have any information to suggest he would be found incompetent. That’s all I can say at this point,” he said.

Nicholas is scheduled to appear in court again on June 15.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Fallen soldier's pictures used in fake social media and dating profiles
Fallen soldier's pictures used in fake social media and dating profiles

The family of a fallen Massachusetts soldier is once again fighting to defend his identity from complete strangers using his pictures on fake social media accounts and dating sites. Lisa Haglof, who helps manage the Facebook memorial page for her brother, Army Staff Sergeant Matthew Pucino, told Boston 25 News she recently began receiving messages...
Overturned tractor-trailer spills bags of salad along Florida Turnpike
Overturned tractor-trailer spills bags of salad along Florida Turnpike

A tractor-trailer overturned early Wednesday, spilling bags of salad along Florida's Turnpike in Orange County, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The crash was reported shortly before 3 a.m. on the road's southbound lanes, north of State Road 417, troopers said. Investigators said at least one person was injured, but it's unknown how severe the injuries...
‘Tragic result’: Some use treatment drug to get high
‘Tragic result’: Some use treatment drug to get high

A treatment drug widely-prescribed to help Medicaid recipients get off opioids is being manipulated, sold on the street and used as barter in area jails, according to addiction treatment advocates. “The tragic result is that many addicts are selling their Suboxone script, using part of the cash as a monthly stipend and then purchasing much less...
Clark County teacher deadly hit-and-run: Victim’s family wants justice
Clark County teacher deadly hit-and-run: Victim’s family wants justice

The family of a man struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash on North Tecumseh Road more than a year ago says they want justice and are relieved an arrest has been made in the case. Kristine Baggs, a Kenton Ridge High School teacher, was arrested Monday and charged with failure to stop after an accident, tampering with evidence and two counts of vehicular...
Donor found for toddler born without kidneys; Tyler Perry buys mother car
Donor found for toddler born without kidneys; Tyler Perry buys mother car

A Georgia mother whose toddler has been waiting for a kidney transplant his whole life was given a car on Tuesday — hours before a kidney donor was found. Carmellia Burgess of Gwinnett County brought her son home from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Nov. 8, where he’d been since Oct. 29.  The family expected to wait...
More Stories