Champaign Co. teen accused of killing father's girlfriend found mentally competent

Champaing Co. teen accused of killing father's girlfriend found mentally competent (WKEF/WRGT)

UPDATE- Fourteen-year-old Donovan Nicholas is charged with killing his father's longtime, live-in girlfriend, Heidi Taylor in April in their Champaign County home.

Nicholas is charged with aggravated murder and murder for allegedly shooting and stabbing the woman he called his mother.

The prosecution wants Nicholas tried as an adult but it'll be up to the judge to decide.

"We're certainly of the belief that he can be but the, that's obviously something that will have to be determined by the judge," Heckman said.

Court documents say Nicholas claimed another person inside him named "Jeff," did it because he was tired of Taylor and that she used drugs. Investigators say Nicholas got a kitchen knife and called Taylor downstairs. They go on to say Nicholas hid behind a door and then stabbed her several times. The report then says Taylor made it upstairs, but that's where Nicholas is accused of shooting her in the head with his father's gun.

Nicholas was found competent Thursday morning, next up is an amenability report. The same psychologist who did the competency report will do the amenability report.

"The amenability report is crucial. That's the issue of, can a child be rehabilitated within the time period allowed, meaning (the defendant's) 21st birthday, to the satisfaction of the court? I mean that's why we created juvenile courts in the first place," Heckman said.

So what is an amenability hearing?

"Whereas amenability is, do they have such an evil heart that they're not going to be able to be turned around. (This is) the system we've created just for this purpose of recognizing children do things that adults don't do. Is the system able or unable to work in this case?" Heckman said.

The attorney says his client has never been in trouble before.

"We're hopeful that the court is going to find that Donovan can be rehabilitated. That his problems are mental illness problems and that they can be addressed and he can be rehabilitated and return to society," Heckman said.

Heckman says the boy's father has been visiting him often at the Central Ohio Youth Center near Marysville.

"(He's) a very devastated man. He visits Donovan every visitation possible. I think we can all imagine what he's going through,"


URBANA, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A Champaign County teen has been found mentally competent to stand trial for the murder of his father's girlfriend.

Donovan Nicholas, 14, appeared in court this morning where a doctor told a judge the teen can comprehend the charges he faces and understand the proceedings. A judge found there is probable cause to move forward with the charges against Nicholas of Aggravated Murder and Murder.

The teen is accused of stabbing his father's girlfriend, Heidi Taylor, 40, to death and then shooting her. Champaign County Prosecutors say the murder was premeditated and that Nicholas was lying in wait for Taylor and planned to escape after the attack, but couldn't because of a leg injury. Investigators said Nicholas is claiming to have multiple personalities, and the one that did the killing has been in his head for three months. According to the complaint, Nicholas said another person inside him named "Jeff" did it because he was tired of Taylor and that she used drugs.

Nicholas will be returning to the Ohio Youth Center, where he'll be held until his next hearing. Prosecutors want the teen to be tried as an adult, but there will be an amenability evaluation before the case could potentially be moved to adult court. After the information from the hearing is reviewed, it will be up to a judge whether Nicholas will be tried as a juvenile or adult.

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