Champaign County teen murder suspect might be tried as adult

Donovan Nicholas appears in Champaign County Juvenile Court. A judge has ruled his face cannot be shown. Staff photo
Donovan Nicholas appears in Champaign County Juvenile Court. A judge has ruled his face cannot be shown. Staff photo

A 14-year-old boy accused of killing his father’s fiance and allegedly blaming an alternate personality for the death will have a hearing to decide if he should be tried as an adult.

His next court date will be an amenability hearing at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, Champaign County Juvenile Court Judge Lori Reisinger said in a statement.

The hearing will decide if his case will be moved to adult court, Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi said.

RELATED: Champaign County 14-year-old competent to face murder trial

Reisinger found Donovan Nicholas competent to stand trial during a hearing in June. He’s been charged with murder and aggravated murder in connection with the killing of 40-year-old Heidi Fay Taylor, according to court documents.

Defense attorney Darrell Heckman said he plans to call some witnesses but declined to go into specifics.

“We hope to have it over in a few hours,” he said.

The defense attorney said his team is focused on the upcoming hearing.

“We want him to stay in the juvenile system,” Heckman said.

Prosecutors have sought to try Nicholas as an adult. The judge ordered a psychological evaluation of Nicholas. That will be used in the upcoming hearing.

Talebi said in a statement that he has sought to move the case to adult court because of the seriousness of the allegations and “the deliberate and premeditated nature of the offenses alleged and the available sanctions and penalties available in the juvenile system.”

RELATED: 9-1-1 call: Champaign 8th-grader claims other personality killed woman

Nicholas has been accused of stabbing and shooting Taylor, court records say. It’s believed the teen would have attempted to flee the scene if not for a leg injury, Talebi has said. Nicholas allegedly stabbed himself in the leg during the struggle with Taylor, who was his dad’s girlfriend and was described in a 9-1-1 call as the teen’s stepmother.

In that emergency call, Nicholas can be heard blaming the killing on an alternate personality named Jeff, according to a copy of it obtained by the Springfield News-Sun.

The judge also has ruled there’s enough evidence against Donovan to continue with the case. A psychologist evaluated Nicholas and will send his findings to the judge.