Prosecutor alleges Champaign County 8th grader planned murder

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Boy, 14, charged with murder in Champaign County

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Champaign County eighth grader has been arrested in connection with the death of his father’s girlfriend.

Donavan Nicholas, 14, has been charged with both murder and aggravated murder in the death of 40-year-old Heidi Fay Taylor, according to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office was called to the 4300 block of Valley Pike in Mad River Twp. on Thursday evening, where both Nicholas and Taylor live.

Nicholas appeared in Champaign County Juvenile Court on Friday afternoon for a detention hearing. Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi argued Nicholas shouldn’t be released from the Central Ohio Youth Center because of the serious nature of the crime.

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“He certainly poses a risk to public safety and to the community,” Talebi said, “and we think that he needs to remain in detention for those reasons.”

He argued in court that Nicholas lured the victim into a vulnerable position with the purpose of killing her.

“Aggravated murder involves a premeditated, intentional act,” Talebi said.

The crime involved weapons, including a knife and handgun, he said, although the prosecutor declined to say how Taylor died.

Based on an interview with the sheriff’s office, he said investigators also believe that Nicholas intended to run away from the home after the crime.

“He intended to flee the crime scene. But for an injury to his leg, he would have,” Talebi said.

But Nicholas’s attorney, Darrell Heckman, argued he should be released to his father on house arrest because he hasn’t been involved with the courts before and has mental health issues.

Champaign County Juvenile Court Judge Lori Reisinger decided Nicholas will remain in detention. Heckman also requested a competency evaluation to determine if Nicholas is able to stand trial.

Nicholas will appear in court again on April 19.

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He is a student at Graham Middle School. The school district released statement about the alleged crime.

“A Graham Local Schools middle school student was allegedly involved in a tragic domestic situation. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family and community and we will continue to support them in any way we can in the coming days,” the statement says.

“As this is an ongoing incident and unrelated to the operations of our school campus, we will not be able to offer any details at this time. We will offer any support necessary for students and staff at our schools.”

Nicholas’ case could be moved to adult court if requested by the prosecutor and approved by the judge, Talebi said, but he said it’s too early for him to say whether he will pursue that.

It’s unlike any case he hasn’t experienced in his nearly 20 years in Champaign County, he said.

“This is just a very tragic aberration of what life is normally like here in Champaign County,” he said.

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