Jury convicts teen who says alternate personality killed his dad’s girlfriend

ajc.com

It only took three hours of deliberations Wednesday for a jury to convict a 16-year-old Champaign County boy in the stabbing and shooting death of his father’s longtime girlfriend.

Donovan Nicholas was found guilty of aggravated murder and murder, the Columbus Dispatch reported, in the death of 40-year-old Heidi Fay Taylor in April 2017. He will be sentenced Tuesday.

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He was tried as an adult in Champaign County Common Pleas Court and took the stand during his trial this week, maintaining that an alternate personality inside him called “Jeff” killed Taylor, the Dispatch reported.

Nicholas was 14 and an eighth-grader at Graham Middle School when he stabbed Taylor more than 60 times and then shot her at their home. She was his father’s live-in girlfriend and a mother figure to the teen, according to previous court testimony.

Defense attorney Darrell Heckman said it’s believed Nicholas’ alleged split personality “Jeff” is a character from an internet horror series “Jeff the Killer,” who is known for fictitious brutal killings on the shows.

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

In the 911 phone call obtained by this news organization, Nicholas told dispatchers that another personality killed Taylor.

“I just killed my mother,” Nicholas said. “It wasn’t me who, who, it wasn’t me who killed her. It was Jeff. Jeff. I’m sorry. This is going to be really hard to explain but I kind of have another person inside me,” Nicholas said.

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A forensic psychologist, Daniel Hrinko, testified a year ago in Champaign County Family Court that Nicholas suffers from a dissociative disorder. He originally pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

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