ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Nicholas Firkus, 38, has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing his wife, Heidi Firkus, in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2010.
St. Paul police took Nicholas into custody on an arrest warrant on Wednesday at his home in Mounds View. He was booked into the Ramsey County Jail on suspicion of murder. The criminal complaint against him was unsealed on Thursday morning following his first court appearance. His bail was set at $1 million with conditions, $3 million without conditions.
Heidi, 25, was shot and killed in her own home in the early morning hours of April 25, 2010.
According to the charges, police received two 911 calls from Heidi’s cell phone that morning, one from Heidi reporting that someone was trying to break in and one from Nicholas, reporting someone had broken into their home and that he and Heidi had been shot while trying to run away.
When police arrived, they found Heidi unresponsive in the kitchen, with a gunshot wound to her back. Nicholas was beside her on the floor, talking to the 911 operator. He was "highly emotional," the charges say, and had a gunshot wound to his left thigh. He was taken to the hospital. Heidi was pronounced dead at the scene.
Nicholas James Firkus has been arrested in the death of his 2010 death of his wife Heidi Firkus (Ramsey County Jail)
Nicholas told police at the time that someone broke into their home in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood around 6:30 a.m. and he grabbed a shotgun. He said he struggled with the intruder and the gun went off twice, hitting Heidi in the back and him in the leg.
Nicholas also told police that he and his wife were behind on their bills and their house was being foreclosed on. They had to be out of the house the next day, but had not told any of their friends or family yet.
The investigation revealed Nicholas was served with foreclosure in June 2009 and their house was sold at a sheriff’s auction in June 2009, 10 months before Heidi was killed. Eviction proceedings had been filed in February and an eviction hearing was held on March 8, 2010, which Nicholas attended alone. The lockout date was originally set for April 9, 2010. Nicholas called the attorneys and stated his grandmother was in hospice and about to die and asked to move it to April 26. However, investigators found no evidence either of his grandmothers were in hospice or died in 2010.
Authorities do not believe Heidi knew about the foreclosure or the lockout. According to the charges, she had not mentioned anything about the foreclosure or lockout date to family or friends and had recently been talking about selling their house, although at the time the house had already been sold at the sheriff’s auction and they had no house to sell.
Investigators did not find any unidentified DNA profiles on the gun and DNA swabs from the door to the house. No sound of a struggle was heard during the 911 calls and no evidence from the scene suggested the incident occurred as Nicholas described.
Heidi's family issued a statement on Wednesday following the news of Nicholas' arrest.
"We're extremely grateful for all those who have worked so hard and long to get the case to this point. And also for everyone who has prayed and stood beside us all these years," the statement read. "We are hopeful that these charges will finally bring out the truth and result in justice for Heidi. Even though we know we can't have her back, we believe Heidi would want us to have the truth. God is honored by truth. Heidi's life and memory is further honored by truth."