Nicholas Firkus trial: Husband found guilty of wife’s 2010 murder
ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Nicholas Firkus, charged with first- and second-degree murder for killing his wife Heidi, has been found guilty in Ramsey County court on Friday.
Heidi Firkus was killed 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 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.
He 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.
Opening arguments for the trial began on Jan. 27.
"Today, a Ramsey County jury found Nicolas Firkus guilty of the premeditated murder of his wife, Heidi, on April 25, 2010 in their St. Paul home. We are very grateful to the Saint Paul Police Department and the FBI for their diligent investigative work. I am also very grateful for the prosecutors, victim advocates, paralegals, and support staff in my office, who worked so tirelessly in their efforts to seek justice for Heidi," said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi in a statement following the verdict. "While nothing will bring Heidi back to her family and friends, we do hope this verdict provides them with some measure of closure."