April 6, 2017
Champaign County, Ohio
Donovan Nicholas (14) stabs his mother Heidi Fay Taylor (40) over 60 times and shoots her in the head

Taylor was not married to Nicholas’ father nor was she Nicholas’ biological mother, though she had been the sole mother figure in his life and Nicholas called her “mom.”

The killing occurred after an argument regarding Nicholas’ cellphone. Taylor took the phone from Nicholas who then became enraged, primarily because, without the phone, he could not communicate with his out-of-state girlfriend. Nicholas stabbed Taylor over 60 times, retrieved his father’s 9mm handgun, loaded it, and shot her in the head. Nicholas also stabbed himself in the leg.

After the killing, Nicholas called 911 to report the crime and to request an ambulance for his injured leg. In the call, Nicholas stated, “I just killed my mother. I just killed my mother and I need to go to the hospital.” The dispatcher asked what had happened, and Nicholas explained, “It wasn’t me who killed her. It was Jeff. I’m sorry this will come out really hard to explain but I kind of have another person inside me.” Nicholas was apprehended by police while still on the phone with emergency dispatch, without further injury or incident.

Nicholas was later diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder), and elaborated further on his alter, Jeff. Jeff was based on the character Jeff the Killer, a fictional character in the internet horror legend of the same name featuring a serial killer without a nose and a smile carved into his face. “Before we distinctly split,” Nicholas explained in court, “I liked Jeff the Killer, I was obsessed with Jeff the Killer. Jeff became a problem when he started doing things I didn’t want him to do — destroying my room, stabbing walls.”

Nicholas was was found competent to stand trial and was convicted of Taylor’s murder. He sentenced to life in prison and will be eligible for parole in February 2045.

Donovan Nicholas at trial

Donovan Asher Nicholas. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. https://appgateway.drc.ohio.gov/OffenderSearch/Search/Details/A746131
Perry, Parker. “State says Champaign County teen murderer should serve out prison sentence.” Springfield News-Sun. December 2, 2019. Accessed: April 6, 2020. https://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/crime–law/state-says-champaign-county-teen-murderer-should-serve-out-prison-sentence/iL4yFhXePBHefFAoVglNGK/amp.html
Schaefer, Christina. “Champaign Co. teen found guilty of killing father’s girlfriend sentenced to 28 yrs to life.” Dayton 24/7 Now. July 24, 2018. Accessed: April 6, 2020. https://dayton247now.com/amp/news/local/champaign-co-teen-found-guilty-of-killing-fathers-girlfriend-sentenced-to-28-yrs-to-life
Zachariah, Holly. “Teen sentenced to at least 28 years for brutal slaying of dad’s girlfriend.” The Columbus Dispatch. July 24, 2018. Accessed: April 6, 2020. https://www.dispatch.com/news/20180724/teen-sentenced-to-at-least-28-years-for-brutal-slaying-of-dads-girlfriend (image source)
Zachariah, Holly. “Police: Teen says second personality killed dad’s girlfriend.” The Columbus Dispatch. April 11, 2017. Accessed: April 6, 2020. https://www.dispatch.com/news/20170411/police-teen-says-second-personality-killed-dads-girlfriend

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